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Update: Suburban Cook County offering COVID-19 vaccine form for health care workers only

Monday, January 04, 2021
Chicago Tribune
by Lisa Schencker

The Cook County Department of Public Health is inviting many health care workers to fill out a survey online to receive information about when and where they may be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Language on the website Monday originally seemed to indicate that the survey was for all Cook County residents, but that language is incorrect and is being fixed, said spokesman Don Bolger.

 

People who fill out the form may receive regular updates about vaccine availability. The survey is for health care workers who are not affiliated with health systems, such as those who might work at independent clinics.

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen Dec. 28, 2020, at Esperanza Health Center in Chicago.
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen Dec. 28, 2020, at Esperanza Health Center in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Lake County unveiled a registration system for all its residents and workers weeks ago, and, as of last week, has registered about 150,000 people.

Now, hospitals and health departments are vaccinating health care workers, and CVS Health and Walgreens are vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities, through federal contracts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that after health care workers and long-term care facility residents get the vaccine, the next groups include people ages 75 and older and essential workers, such as teachers, police and firefighters. After that, the CDC has recommended people ages 65 to 74 and those with certain underlying health conditions get vaccinated.

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Some Illinois health systems have indicated that they may use electronic medical records to help them reach out to patients in the next phases of vaccination.

Nationally, vaccine distribution has been slower than expected, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration has been cautious about projecting too far into the future when enough vaccines will arrive to immunize people beyond the top priority group. The governor has indicated more details could be released this month on how further vaccine distribution will be prioritized in Illinois.

This story has been updated to reflect Cook County has clarified that its online form is intended for health care workers.

Lisa Schencker

Lisa Schencker is a Tribune business reporter covering health care. She writes about patients, hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining the Tribune in 2016, she worked at Modern Healthcare and at daily newspapers across the country, including the Salt Lake Tribune for seven years.


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