Citing increased supply of vaccines, all Illinois residents 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday morning.
Next week, 150,000 first dose appointments will be opened up at state-run sites including those in Cook County, Pritzker said.
For those who are 16 and 17 years old, the only vaccine they can take is Pfizer, as that is the only vaccine that has been given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for 16- and 17-year-olds. Anyone 18 or older is eligible to receive the Pfizer, Moderna and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
“We’re at a point where the variants are rising. We need to make sure that we open this up to everybody,” Pritzker said. “We now need to get as many shots in arms as quickly as we possibly can.”
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike also gave an update that of the more than 2.5 million Illinois residents that have been fully vaccinated, only 72 have been hospitalized with COVID-19, meaning more than 99.9% of people who have been fully vaccinated have not been hospitalized.
“We need to cross that finish line together,” Ezike said.