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Illinois to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to Include Additional Essential Workers

As the state continues to utilize every available dose of vaccine, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced new essential workers that will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days, ahead of the universal eligibility on April 12. This comes as the state reaches 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations each day with weekly shipments of vaccine projected to surpass one million doses in April.

Beginning Monday, March 22, higher education staff, government workers, and media will be eligible for vaccination at the more than 900 location in the state’s provider network. Beginning Monday, March 29, food and beverage workers, construction trade workers, and religious leaders will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“From the very beginning of our COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Illinois has ensured our most vulnerable residents receive first access to these life-saving doses, from our healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff, to our 65 and over population and those living with pre-existing conditions, to frontline essential workers who are more exposed to COVID-19 at their workplaces,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Before Illinois expands eligibility to all residents 16 years and older on April 12, I’m proud to announce expanded eligibility for additional groups of more vulnerable populations. With weekly shipments to Illinois surpassing one million doses in April, we are on track to save lives and bring this pandemic to an end.”

“As more vaccine becomes available in the coming weeks and months, we will continue to make sure we are reaching people who are at greater risk of exposure to the virus or from suffering severe illness due to COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While we will continue to prioritize individuals who are 65 years and older, as well as health care workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions, we want to maintain our momentum going forward and continue to increase our march towards herd immunity.”


Eligible Groups

December 15, 2020

Healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents

January 25, 2021

Frontline essential workers (including first responders, K-12 teachers and other public-facing industries) and residents age 65 and up

February 25, 2021

Residents with high-risk conditions or disabilities, age 16 and up

March 22, 2021

Higher education staff, government workers, and media

March 29, 2021

Restaurant staff, construction trade workers, and religious leaders

April 12, 2021

Any resident age 16 and up


Since its first day in office, the Biden Administration has nearly doubled weekly vaccine distribution to states from 8.6 million to over 16 million this week. The first delivery to Illinois in December was about 109,000 doses, a figure that has grown to more than 800,000 the week of March 15 and is projected to surpass one million doses per week in April.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, go to  To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you, visit the website for vaccination locations.  Individuals who do not have access to online services or need assistance navigating online

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