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All Essential Workers in Cook County Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine: Officials

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
WTTW News
by Heather Cherone

All essential workers and those with underlying health conditions are now eligible in suburban Cook County for the COVID-19 vaccine, officials announced Wednesday.

However, supplies of the three vaccines approved by federal officials are still limited, and officials have said there will not immediately be enough doses for everyone who wants the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents of suburban Cook County who are older than 65 and health care workers remain eligible for the vaccine.

Chicago moved into the next phase of the vaccination effort on Monday, making 84% of all residents eligible for the coveted vaccine.

Approximately 100,000 workers in transportation, logistics, food service, housing, construction, finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety and public health are now eligible for the vaccine, according to county officials.

New appointments for those newly eligible will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday online.

When all adults 16 and older are eligible, another approximately 1.4 million suburban Cook County residents will be able to register for appointments, officials said.

More than 25% of all residents in suburban Cook County and more than 80% of those older than 65 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr. Rachel Rubin, the senior medical officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health.

“We are building an impressive county-wide system to administer vaccines to as many of our 2.5 million residents who want one and will be able to equitably and efficiently administer them if the vaccine supply can match the demand,” Rubin said in a statement.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that all Illinois residents age 16 and older will become eligible for the vaccine under state rules on April 12. In addition, all Illinois residents are now eligible for the vaccine in counties where demand for the vaccine is dropping amid a surge in cases, state health officials announced Friday.

The increase in cases in suburban Cook County is among the highest in the state, and the jump in case positivity and hospitalizations could trigger new restrictions under the state’s reopening metrics, according to data from the Illinois Department of Health.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | hcherone@wttw.com



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