On January 25, 2021, the State of Illinois entered Phase 1B of the Illinois Vaccination Administration Plan which opens eligibility to frontline essential workers including first responders, those who work in education, food service, agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, postal workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and staff at shelters and day care centers and all Illinois residents over the age of 65.
On February 25, 2021, in accordance with CDC guidelines, Illinois will expand Phase 1B to include individuals with a high-risk medical condition. The following list of medical conditions classifed as high risk by the CDC is subject to change as guidance evolves and does not reflect an order of priority:
• Cancer• Chronic Kidney Disease• COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)• Diabetes• Heart Condition• Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant• Obesity• Pregnancy• Pulmonary Disease • Sickle Cell Disease
Vaccine administration for Riverside residents is under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Department of Public Health and State of Illinois. There are two websites where residents can find information:
It is important to note that vaccine remains in short supply nationwide and every state is facing a large demand for the vaccine and a shortage of supply. Residents are encouraged to check with their primary care doctor regarding vaccine availability and check these website regularly for available appointments.
Residents who need assistance with scheduling can call (833) 308-1988 from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Cook County Health will only offer appointment slots based on the amount of vaccine on hand and will add appointments as new vaccine shipments arrive.
Even as more people become eligible and receive the vaccine, we must be careful not to let down our guard. As Dr. Fauci has pointed out, we will not reach the necessary numbers to create herd immunity until approximately 85% of our population has been vaccinated. In addition, it is also known that even those who have received a vaccine can still carry and transmit the virus. So let us all pull together during this final stretch to keep one another safe. If we continue to practice the three Ws—Wash your hands, Wear a facial covering, Watch your distance—we can get to the goal of herd immunity with fewer cases and fewer casualties. Let us make sure that none of our friends or family get sick because we just got tired. The days are getting longer and summer is coming. We will soon be able to enjoy outdoor activities again. If all goes according to plan, we can start getting back to normal then. But for now we must stay the course!