Illinois to expand vaccination eligibility to residents over 16 starting Monday

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FOREST PARK — Governor JB Pritzker joined Cook County leaders Thursday to announce that Illinois will be moving to the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility.

Starting Monday, April 12, Illinois resident over the age of 16 will be eligible for the vaccine.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha were among the officials who joined Pritzker at a vaccination site in Forest Park to announce the start of Phase 2 of vaccination.

Pritzker also announced the state will make 150,000 first-dose vaccination appointments available in the Chicago suburbs.

The governor said that the vaccinations will be available at 11 state-run mass vaccination sites in the suburbs and at area pharmacies.

On Thursday, state health officials announced 3,739 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus including 34 additional deaths.

Eligible residents are asked to register and schedule an appointment for a vaccine online or call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s vaccine hotline at 833-621-1284.

More information at https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/

Chicago officials have said that such universal eligibility will be expanded on April 19, meeting a goal set this week by President Joe Biden, but Pritzker said Chicago residents are “absolutely welcome” to sign up for appointments at the state-run vaccination sites.

But Pritzker also urged not to expect to get an appointment immediately.

“Even with all of these new appointments, there will not be enough vaccine in week one to get everyone that wants to be vaccinated a dose,” he said.

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