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COVID-19 Vaccine Info.

IL Vaccine Portals

Below are portal sites where vaccine registrations are available. Select your county:

Vaccine availability

Q. When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A. The first supply of COVID-19 vaccine receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began being distributed in the U.S. on December 14, 2020.  During the initial period, referred to as Phase 1a, supplies of the vaccine will be limited, and therefore allocated to health care personnel and Long-term care (LTC) residents and staff.  We expect vaccine supply to increase over time and Phase 1b is expected to begin when Phase 1a is substantially completed.  (To view the categories of priority populations in Phase 1a and Phase 1b, please see the chart below.) 

Q. Where can I get the vaccine?

A. If you are an eligible individual as outlined in Phase 1a or 1b, such as health care workers, first responders, essential workers, or anyone 65 years of age and older, you can find your nearest vaccination site here.

Q. Will the state (or federal government) establish mass immunization programs, like they did in the 1960’s?

A. Illinois is working with local health departments and providers across the state to provide COVID-19 vaccinations that resemble larger versions of yearly flu clinics, rather than the mass vaccination activities of the past.

Q. Will undocumented people be able to get the vaccine?

A. All populations in Illinois, including individuals who are undocumented, can receive the vaccine.  No one will be turned away when it is their time to be vaccinated. 

Q. My family member was offered a vaccine through their employer. Why can’t the rest of my family get the vaccine?

A. Because vaccine will be very limited when it first comes out, administration will be limited to those identified in prioritized (high-risk) groups by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the CDC. This is to ensure that all individuals in the high-risk groups are able to receive the vaccine. As more vaccine becomes available, those groups eligible to receive the vaccine will expand.

Q. Is there a scheduled date for distribution per phases?

A. There is not a scheduled calendar date, but once ACIP provides its recommendation on priority vaccination groups, IDPH will distribute vaccine to Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers (RHCC) partners throughout the state. From there, the distribution will continue ultimately through local health departments to local health care providers.

Q. Will distribution of vaccine be divided per capita?

A. Vaccine will be distributed according to the population of each county, adjusted to ensure health equity using the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI).

Q. What about one municipality that has very high numbers of COVID-19 cases within a county that otherwise had less cases? (in reference to prioritizing vaccine distribution)

A. Distribution within counties will be overseen by local health departments (LHD). IDPH will work with LHDs to ensure providers have adequate amounts of vaccine to support the municipalities/communities they serve.

Q. I understand the vaccination requires two shots. Why, and what if I am unable (or do not want) to get a second shot?

A. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines require two shots to be fully effective. This helps make sure that enough antibodies are being produced to provide effective and long-lasting protection. We do not know if receiving only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is protective. If you choose not to get a second dose, you may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. The first dose of the vaccine will provide some protection, but the recommendation is to receive two doses to be protected as intended.

Q. Different COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be available. Which vaccine should I take?

A. Any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to be effective. Data available at this point would suggest that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very similar in their abilities to produce immunity to the virus. The recommendation would be to take whatever vaccine is made available to you and be sure to receive the booster shot of that same vaccine at the appropriate time. If you choose not to get a second dose, you may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Q. What happens if they run out of the vaccine before I get my second shot?

A. CDC is structuring shipments in such a way that 21 or 28 days after the first shipment, the same number of doses will be shipped, so providers will have enough vaccine for a second dose. The 21- or 28-day requirement between doses is a minimum requirement, not a maximum. If, for some reason, you are unable to receive the second dose at the recommended interval, you can receive the second dose at a later date.

Q. Who besides healthcare workers will be able to administer the vaccine? For example, we recently passed a law allowing dentists to administer flu shots. Will dentists, pharmacists and other qualified professionals, besides doctors and nurses, be able to administer the vaccine?

A. IDPH licenses EMTs and CNAs. All other healthcare professionals including but not limited to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Currently dentists, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have had their scope of practice extended by IDFPR to allow them to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. IDPH has issued recommendations to allow EMT’s at the advanced and intermediate levels to administer vaccine, as long as their Medical Director for their EMS system follows certain guidelines.

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