CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago’s top doctor, Dr. Allison Arwady, will receive her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and give an update on the city’s vaccination progress Thursday morning.
She said the city is still on schedule to move into Phase 1B of its vaccine rollout Monday. The phase includes specific frontline workers and those 65 and older.
Every dose will be given by appointment, and most people will be vaccinated by their primary care doctors and pharmacies. Some will receive vaccinations through their employers.
Registration is not yet open for vaccines, Arwady said. More information should be available Monday.
The city also began giving some leftover vaccines to high-risk individuals, and that will begin to ramp up, Arwady said.
Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to speak Friday, as some are frustrated with the lack of information about how to register for a vaccine.
The city of Chicago has set tentative dates for each phase of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan.
Chicago is currently in Phase 1A of the plan, with healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff eligible to get vaccinated.
Phase 1B is set to begin on Monday, with Chicagoans over 65, non-health care residential settings, including homeless shelters and frontline essential workers. Frontline essential workers include grocery store workers, manufacturing, daycare, K-12 and early education workers, public transit, agricultural workers, continuity of government and postal workers.
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The city expects most people in Phase 1B to get vaccinated in February and March.
Phase 1C is tentatively scheduled to begin on March 29 for Chicagoans ages 16-64 with underlying medical conditions and all other essential workers.
Phase 2 is tentatively scheduled for May 31, which would include everyone over the age of 16 not previously recommended to be vaccinated. But, there is a caveat.
“I want to make very clear that date is totally dependent on how much vaccine we get, what changes we see from the federal government,” said Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “I just want to set the expectation that the amount of vaccine that we’re receiving is minuscule compared to what I expect the demand to be.”
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COVID-19 vaccines are not currently authorized for younger children. The city said they will be added when a vaccine is approved for children.
“Most people, especially in the 65-plus, will be vaccinated in a clinical setting: through a hospital, through your own doctor’s office, potentially through a pharmacy. And there will be more to come on that,” Arwady said.
Officials are asking providers to prioritize within each group. In the 65 and older category, Arwady said those 75 and older should be at the top of the list, followed by those 65 to 74 with underlying conditions, and then the rest of that of group.
“Say you’re a healthy 65-year-old, frankly I would appreciate it if you maybe are willing to wait a few weeks,” Dr. Arwady said.
Officials said most people in 1B will register with their healthcare provider, pharmacy or employer.
For more information on Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, visit Chicago.gov.
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With Chicago’s metrics falling, the city moved to Tier 2 mitigations on Monday, allowing businesses such as casinos, bowling alleys, museums and movie theatres to reopen. That opening, however, is expected to take place over several days and weeks.
“We’ll definitely be losing money you know,” said Chris Johnson, owner of Classic Cinemas. “In the first half of the year, your ramping up, you’re building an audience and getting people acclimated to going out again.”
Officials said the city could come down to Tier 1 as early as this weekend, allowing limited indoor dining to resume as soon as next week.
“We’ve got to remain diligent, but I’m optimistic that we’ll see indoor dining in restaurants relatively soon,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
The video in the player above is from an earlier report.
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