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What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccines

What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccines

As vaccines become more widely available, it's important to keep taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • Limit gatherings with others.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Wear a mask in public.

Once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you, here's what you should know:

  • You will need 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for it to be effective. When you receive your first dose, make sure to schedule your second dose.
  • Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine, so there will be no cost to you.
  • State governments are handling the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Look for updates from your state and local officials as more doses of the vaccine become available for additional priority groups.

Illinois Vaccination Plan

In Illinois, we are in Vaccination Phase 1A, and there is a list of eligible individuals. You can view the list here.

In Vaccination Phase 1B, indiviuduals over the age of 65 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Phase 1a

  • Healthcare Personnel
  • Hospital Settings
  • Non-Hospital Healthcare
  • Long-term care facility staff and all residents
  • Other identified congregate care staff and all residents

Phase 1b

  • Persons aged 65 years and older
  • Frontline essential workers
  • Inmates

Phase 1c

  • Persons aged 16 to 64 years old with high-risk medical conditions
  • Other essential workers

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. Initially, hospitals will provide COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel. As more vaccine is distributed by the federal government, several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including but not limited to doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), across the state.

CDC is working with pharmacies to establish a system to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services to residents and staff in LTC settings, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities where most individuals are over 65 years of age.

Read more FAQs on Illinois' website.

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