Illinois starts vaccinating 65 and older; Phase 1B Monday

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– Starting Monday, January 25, the entire state of Illinois can start making COVID vaccine appointments for those eligible in Phase 1B. That phase includes residents age 65 and older as well as frontline essential workers.

Gov. JB Pritzker said during an afternoon press conference appointments will be hard to get until more vaccine comes online. There are 3.2 million Illinois residents eligible in Phase 1B.

Those eligible frontline workers include first responders, teachers and school staff, manufacturing, food and agriculture, corrections workers and inmates, United States Postal Workers, public transit, grocery store workers, shelter workers. You can get a full list on the IDPH website.

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He said health department and pharmacies will begin taking appointments. Many area counties are asking people to pre-register so they can be notified.

Also, Gov. Pritzker said nearly all the health care workers in Phase 1A have been provided an opportunity to get the vaccine.

Illinois National Guard vaccination teams began operations at six sites this week in Cook County. St. Clair is working with officials on a site as well. There will be 25 additional National Guard teams deployed to high-need areas over the next three weeks.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health was asked about people “jumping the line” when it came to getting the vaccine.

“I think for the most part, things will follow according to the guidance,” replied Dr. Ezike. “We can’t work for the exception, we are working for the greater good of the masses.”

She said the state is collecting as much information as possible from people to make sure they are in the right phase. They are also asking that people certify which group they belong to own their own.

Friday, The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 7,042 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, including 95 additional deaths. IDPH is reporting a total of 1,093,375 cases, including 18,615 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

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