In light of a steadily increasing federal vaccine supply, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Illinois is making plans to expand Phase 1B eligibility on Thursday, Feb. 25, to people who have comorbidities and underlying conditions as defined by the CDC.
In addition, Illinois will 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.
"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 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.
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 Feb. 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)
Immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant
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.