Q+A: COVID-19 Vaccine Edition

I want to highlight vaccine distribution in IL-12 and answer common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The City of Chicago is moving quickly, 692,237 doses of the vaccine have been administered as of March 11th. I encourage everyone that is eligible to receive the vaccine in order to protect our community.  

What phase are we currently in? 

As of March 12th, 2021, we are in phase 1B. The following are included in this phase: Chicagoans age 65+, frontline essential workers, and those in non-healthcare residential settings. The term frontline essential workers refers to first responders, grocery store workers, education, public transit workers, manufacturing, food and agriculture, government, and caregivers.

When will the next phases begin?

Phase 1C is estimated to start on March 29th, 2021. This phase will include Chicagoans aged 16-64 with underlying medical conditions and all other essential workers. Phase 2 is estimated to start on May 31 and makes all Chicagoans 16 and older eligible to receive a vaccine. That said, public health officials are working to speed up the vaccination process. Joe Biden has directed all states to allow all adults to be eligible for the vaccine by May 1st. This directive may change the estimated dates for phase 1C and phase 2.

Will I have to pay for the vaccine?

No, the vaccine is free to everyone in the United States. Whether you have insurance or not, you will be able to get the vaccine free of charge. 

How do I schedule a vaccine appointment when I am eligible?

First, you should contact your healthcare provider and pharmacy to see if they have any vaccine appointments available. You can also visit zocdoc.com/vaccine to find a vaccine appointment.

What if I do not have transportation to my appointment?

Uber is offering free rides to Walgreens for those who have a vaccine appointment at the store but do not have transportation. After scheduling a vaccine appointment at Walgreens, there will an email sent offering a free Uber ride. More information at the link: https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/walgreens-uber-vaccine-equity.htm 

What if I am unable to leave the house but want a vaccine?

No worries, Chicago has implemented a mobile vaccination program for homebound Chicagoans. If you are unable to leave your home to get a vaccine, you may be eligible for an in-home vaccination. Those eligible for the program: seniors, individuals with a disability who require in-home assistance, and individuals that require the use of adaptive equipment. To sign up for an in-home vaccination, fill out this form: https://redcap.dph.illinois.gov/surveys/?s=NC9XC3889P

How can I receive vaccine updates?

Sign up to stay up to date on the vaccine rollout: https://covidcoach.chicago.gov 

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes, according to scientists, doctors, researchers, and the CDC, all available COVID-19 vaccines are safe. All available vaccines in the United States were tested in clinical trials and meet the FDA’s strict standards.