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Pritzker expands Phase 1B eligibility, will prioritize those with disabilities

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021

* Press release…

In light of a steadily increasing federal vaccine supply, Illinois is making plans to expand Phase 1B eligibility on February 25 to people who have comorbidities and underlying conditions as defined by the CDC. In addition, Illinois will also prioritize individuals with disabilities.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has increased the vaccine supply by nearly 30 percent, including a 5 percent increase this week. Among the other major efforts to increase supply:

    * The White House is launching a new Community Health Center vaccination program to direct additional vaccine to locations around the country that serve the hardest-hit populations, and that will ramp up over the coming weeks.
    * The FDA is scheduled to meet to review the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a one-dose vaccine that does not require extreme cold storage and provided 100 percent protection against hospitalization and death in its clinical trial, for February 26, and the company has said it’s on track to deliver 100 million doses to the United States by the end of June.

“As quickly as we receive enough vaccine supply, we need to waste no time in protecting a broader section of our most vulnerable population,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Those who are under 65 and live with comorbidities, such as cancer survivors or those living with heart disease, have an elevated risk of serious complications or death if they contract COVID-19. Illinois is moving forward in accordance with guidance from the CDC to expand our eligible population as supply allows, getting us closer to the point when the vaccine is widely available to all who want it. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinoisans to wear our masks and follow the mitigations so that more of our neighbors are healthy and alive when it’s their turn in the vaccination line.”

The Pritzker administration will begin working with local health departments and other providers across the state to include these additional higher-risk individuals into their community vaccination plans in the weeks ahead. Those health departments that have substantially completed their existing Phase 1B population prior to the February 25 statewide expansion date will be able to move forward earlier at the determination of local public health officials and IDPH.

This expansion applies to individuals 16 and older who aren’t otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories.

In accordance with the CDC guidelines, Illinois is using the below guiding framework for what qualifies as a high-risk medical condition once Phase 1B expands on February 25.

This list is subject to change as guidance evolves and does not reflect an order of priority:

    Chronic Kidney Disease
    COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
    Heart Condition
    Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
    Pulmonary Disease
    Sickle Cell Disease

To date, the State of Illinois has used more than 78 percent of its vaccine on hand (not including the federal government’s Long-Term Care Vaccination program and the separate supply of the City of Chicago). All three vaccination efforts have together delivered approximately 1.5 million shots, including 1.15 million first doses, to date.

Illinois’ current statewide seven-day rolling case positivity rate is 3.3 percent as of February 10 – the lowest rate since July 2020.

Have you been moved up?

* SGOP Leader Dan McConchie…

“I am pleased to hear that the sickest amongst us and at most risk of death from COVID-19, regardless of age, will soon have access to the vaccine,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods). “While the state should have provided some method from the very beginning for those whose doctors have been insisting that their patient’s life or health depends on being vaccinated, as has been the case in other states, there is now a light at the end of a very long tunnel for those in greatest need.

“I hope Gov. Pritzker will create a more open dialogue with the legislature to build upon this improvement, to increase effectiveness of vaccine distribution, and to ensure the state is fair and equitable to all in need.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    Have you been moved up?


    As I commented to my primary care doc a few weeks ago, it is the first time being obese has paid off.

  2. - Not the Dude - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    Based upon this new list, I don’t think we have enough vaccine.

  3. - Curious citizen - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    I have a pulmonary disease and I’m glad to see that I will finally qualify for the vaccine.

  4. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    I was 1B already because of age. This playing tag with the computer to get a vaccine appointment is very frustrating.

    The problem is too many of us trying to get too few doses.

  5. - Smalls - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    Given that 40% of the US population is obese, this doesn’t seem to be a narrowly tailored list. Generally makes sense, but there will be no one left by the time we get to Phase 2.

  6. - DownSouth - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    here in our SW county Husband is 70 with stage 3 COPD - still on waiting list, no appointment scheduled yet. I am 60 with comorbidities that qualify - still on waiting list, no appointment scheduled yet. Yet others younger and also not in 1B have been vaccinated. Friends and family program at least seems to be working well here./s

  7. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    Good - Now have supply match distribution. I’ve seen the pharmacy sites having more appointments.

    But, once the J and J shot comes, if I’m already vaccinated I will shop for the Pfizer or Moderna one.

  8. - ktkat1 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:06 pm:

    They need to work on the distribution for 2nd doses before opening this up to more people. The 2nd dose scheduling is a complete nightmare and unnecessary stress. My senior father is getting dose 2 on day 41 after the first dose (42 days is the window) after going through stress to find a place. My teacher daughter has no idea how to schedule dose 2 which is coming up in 2 weeks.

    There is a huge need for organization in this process which is just not there at this point.

  9. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:07 pm:

    How do you define obese in this category?

    I am about 5 1/2 feet and weigh 200 or so pounds. Does that count as obese for my size?

  10. - Homebody - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    There is a finite supply of vaccine. “moving up” is a zero sum game. No matter what the order of categories was going to be, someone was going to be unhappy. Look what happened when the City said it would prioritize the CTU: immediate backlash from some sectors.

  11. - Mandymae - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:16 pm:

    No, but my mom has, and that’s what I’m focused on for the time being. Dad and the inlaws are over 65 and have all gotten their first dose. Just need to work on my 62yo mother now.

  12. - Metric Man - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    Did I read that right? The governor lumped all diabetics in the same group now? The CDC list used to prioritize Type IIs which was curious.

  13. - Jibba - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    CPB, I agree that we will all probably be getting additional vaccinations later this year or next, but perhaps you can wait for your second type of vaccination until the rest of us get our first?

  14. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    This has been a nightmare for my wife. She is taking immune-suppressing chemotherapy (Crohn’s Disorder), and is desperate to get a vaccine. However, at 52, she keeps being told she must “wait.” All the while we keep seeing some who have not physical problems but are in preferred categorties (which we understand) seems almost heartless. The utter irony of being among the weakest, and yet denied… Its akin to a lot of the other “-isms.”

  15. - Anotheretiree - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:22 pm:

    I’ll be 65 this summer. Will jump from group 2 to 1B. I think jumping two tiers in one day is a sign there is a missing tier. I think 31-64 should’ve been in a tier 1D.

  16. - filmmaker prof - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    It seems to me that adding obesity basically opens it up to just about every American!

  17. - JoanP - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    I’m in 1(b) due to my age, so didn’t move up.

  18. - striketoo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    So nice of the CDC to not meet on the J&J approval until the 26th. No need to hurry.

  19. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    Trying to get a vaccination in Sangamon county is the medical equivalent of playing whack-a-mole. I am over 70, with five underlying conditions. Springfield clinic is unable to even suggest when i might get vaccinated. I am left to check the County website, Hy-vee, and Walgreen’s every day. The county actually offered me an appointment, then told me it expired before I could even fill out the form. And did it again.

  20. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    I *think* obesity for the vaccination classification purpose is defined as a BMI 30 and above.

  21. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    In case this helps anyone: in late January, the state added developmentally disabled and their home health care providers (i.e., relatives taking care of them at home) to 1A, classifying them as front line health care workers.

  22. - Anotheretiree - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    -Langhorne- The next time you get a date on the county site and then its gone(the site should reserve it if you click first) don’t back out. Stay on the 2nd entry page and keep clicking for a new date. When one appears, click through the entries ,Win 10 will refill them in again which saves time. I got a date after a few hours. RNUG got two in an hour.

  23. - What's in a name? - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    I had to put down my sandwich to type my answer. Foregoing the new years resolution pays off. The unintended consequence is my wife who, as she says has been responsible, doesn’t qualify. I am now getting yelled at and have anxiety. I now qualify for a Med Marijuana card. Big day. Of course everyday is a big day for me.

  24. - Frustrated - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    How about we get enough to take care of those already in 1b before we add more people to it. We keep pressing to open schools but teachers are still not being vaccinated even though they are already in 1b. St. Clair County is only vaccinating 65 and older and 1a.

  25. - FinanceCity - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    =I *think* obesity for the vaccination classification purpose is defined as a BMI 30 and above.=

    If it is 30 and above this qualifies A LOT of people. And a lot of people on the border line of being overweight and hitting the 30 BMI. Serious question….will health departments check to see if you are over 30BMI if you are on the line…seems like a logistical nightmare .

  26. - GC - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    @striketoo - The CDC’s taking roughly as long to review the application as they did for Pfizer and Moderna. I agree the process is too slow, but blame the Feds for setting the bar for an EUA too high *before they can start this review.* Last thing we want is to approve a vaccine and then discover clinical trial FUBARs like AstraZeneca (although even that vaccine is still seeming like its working in other countries).

    To put the “setting the bar” comment above in context - Moderna’s vaccine has existed since January 13, 2020, which I believe predates every U.S. death from COVID-19.

  27. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    - Nearly Normal -. if you are in Sangamon, just keep hammering the site by flipping pages every minute or so. Eventually you will get a time. You may miss the first few, but you can get through and score an appointment. My close friends in 65+ have all managed to do do.

  28. - Smokers? - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    The CDC has recommended smokers to be in this group. It’s not listed but I wonder if that counts now????

  29. - Perrid - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    Well, I’m obese, but I’m also in my 30’s and can very easily work from home, so I don’t think I’m gonna be rushing the line. I’d been thinking it was going to be like May or something before I actually start looking for a shot. May be sooner than that.

  30. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    @Jibba - That was a typo and me not being clear…

    If I haven’t been vaccinated by the time the J&J vaccine comes out - I will shop for the right time or place to get the Pfizer or Moderna shot.

    To the Springfield question - Walgreens again had openings today, they were filling quickly but you had something to click on at least.

  31. - Responsa - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==I *think* obesity for the vaccination classification purpose is defined as a BMI 30 and above.==

    Obesity opens a real can of worms. Hope there are no fights at the vax centers over BMI privilege.
    “You don’t look like 30 BMI to me”

    “Am too.”

  32. - WestBurbs - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    H-W — I also have family members with Crohn’s. IL is being annoyingly obtuse about defining the “immunocompromised” qualification, currently limiting it to organ transplants (which I can’t believe is intentional as its much narrower than CDC). I suggest your wife have a frank discussion with her GI and ask to have her chart marked “immunocompromised” — which is true regardless of her current therapy but all the more true if she is on Humira/Stelara/steroids, etc.

  33. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    With the constant adding of groups and unavailability of the vaccine, maybe there shouldn’t be any restrictions on getting the vaccine at all. Whoever can get one, get one. It seems that very few people are ineligible at this point anyway. Being registered in 5 different places (with my medical group constantly sending me texts that it’s coming soon), doesn’t seem to be very effective for someone with several risk factors in addition to being over 65. I’m really not sure why identifying someone like me even matters

  34. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    According to this calculator, my being 5′6 and 200 lbs means BMI of 32.3. Meaning I’m a little obese.

    So if obese will remain 30 BMI or greater for vaccination purposes, looks like I’ll be trying to get scheduled for vaccines soon.

  35. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    - Langhorne - just have to be persistent like -anotherretiree- said and hit it constantly. It’s pain but it can be done. Also, if the date doesn’t work for you, once you are scheduled, you can use the email link to try to reschedule. I had to do that for the Mrs because she had recently received another old age vacanation and her Dr advised to wait a longer period than she was scheduled. Rescheduling was easy.

  36. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    Forgot the link to the BMI calculator.

  37. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    Verification that Obesity is on the CDC list defined as 30+ BMI (also is stated on the Lake County AllVax portal’s questionaire):

  38. - GummybearMama - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    I am now compelled out of an abundance of health and safety, to take down a bag of gummy bears, super size my value fries ,and finish it off with a Buster Bar at D’Q. I’ve thrown away my salad and already asked for Weight Watchers’ refund. It’s a good day.

  39. - Thoughts matter - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    Question: I have atrial fibrillation, treated only by office visits and a statin. What proof am I supposed to provide hat I have a comorbid condition? It’s not like I have a card in my wallet. However, my spouse can bring in his insulin pen to show.

  40. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 2:36 pm:

    so do you sign up in anticipation of the new date? or start signing up on that date? and how do you prove your condition?

  41. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    For all the jumping of the line talk - this effectively makes it a free for all. The ONLY way to prevent this was, once Phase 1A was over, to give shots out based on age.

    We have unofficially abandoned any phased rollout as of Feb. 25.

  42. - illinifan - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    I see reverse fat shaming occurring. Individuals will now be yelling at the vaccine sites “how dare you say I am NOT fat”. Either that or all our lying on our drivers licenses will come back to haunt us.

  43. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 3:24 pm:

    Given the shortage of vaccines for non-nursing home seniors, this is nuts.

    In McLean County, the only way for seniors to get vaccine appts has been to sit on their computer refreshing the county website every 5 minutes, and pray you got lucky in scoring a moment within a 3-minute window that appts were actually available after the appt slots were posted. Or more recently, senior citizens also could try staying up to midnight and hoping they got an appt through HyVee in the 5 minutes after those appts were posted before they filled up.

    This just pushes senior citizens who are unlucky, and especially those who are not tech savvy, further to the back of the line.

    What a horrible decision. And I say this as someone who qualifies to get the vaccine as of Feb. 25.

  44. - Feldy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    Raising expectations beyond ability to deliver. Many more will qualify, but we still don’t have the supply to meet 1B, let alone 1C. Many will think it’s time to get their shot only to find there aren’t any. Frustration meter might explode.

  45. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 5:21 pm:

    Fantastic news, as many will qualify. It’s a much needed light at the end of the tunnel emotionally, for those who stand to suffer the most if they get COVID.

  46. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 10, 21 @ 5:52 pm:

    so to make it confusing, this will not apply to people in the City of Chicago as they have their own system.

  47. - WestBurbs - Thursday, Feb 11, 21 @ 9:37 am:

    Two things:
    1. Both Chicago and Cook County won’t participate.

    2. Agree with Cool Papa Bell: should be strictly age-based immediately after frontline healthcare “complete.” Otherwise, it will be (and already is) a complete cluster(expletive deleted)….

  48. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, Feb 11, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    It’s a growing cluster and a building level of “why not me”.

    I can’t abide the decision that right now I know more health care office staff, like HR and fundraising folks, who have the shot as compared to those over 75.

    They aren’t front line workers and actually don’t even work in an office at a hospital. But they all have their vaccines. That was too much for me. For a large (religious) health care system to jab their back of the house folks over patients is shameful.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

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