COVID-19 Vaccine Phase Distribution
The COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool to safely help us end this pandemic. Through efficient and effective distribution of the vaccine, we can suppress the spread of the virus and save as many lives as possible.
Loyola Medicine is following guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Cook County Department of Public Health to distribute the vaccine in phases, to ensure the populations at the highest risk for COVID-19 are eligible to receive the vaccine first. The vaccination prioritization phases are 1a, 1b, 1c and 2.
Only health care workers and first responders are eligible to receive the vaccine. This does not include family members of these individuals or individuals no longer actively working as health care workers or first responders.
Individuals in Phase 1b include frontline essential workers and community members age 65 and over. The frontline essential workers designation includes many residents who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance.
- First responders: Fire, law enforccement, 911 workers, security personnel, school officers
- Education: teachers, principals, student support, student aids, day care worker
- Food and agriculture: Processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care
- Manufacturing: Industrial production of goods for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufactures
- USPS workers
- Corrections workers and inmates: Jail officers, juvenile facility staff, workers providing in-person support, inmates
- Public transit workers: Flight crew, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, para-transit drivers, in-person support, ride sharing services
- Grocery store workers: Baggers, cashiers, stockers, pickup, customer services
- Shelters and day care staff: Homeless shelter, women's shelter, adult day/drop-in program, sheltered workshop, psycho-social rehab
Phase 1c includes residents 16-64 years old with high-risk conditions and essential workers not recommended in phase 1b. High-risk patients are those who may require hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation when infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Underlying medical conditions that may indicated a high-risk category include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions
- Immunocompromised patients, such as those who have had an organ transplant
If you have further questions about medical conditions that may indicate an individual to be included in the high-risk category, we recommend you contact your doctor and speak with them further.
Neither of the approved vaccines is recommended for children under 16 at this time.
Phase 2 includes everyone age 16 or older who was not included in the previous phases.
Loyola Medicine follows the Cook County Department of Public Health prioritization plan. For the most up-to-date information regarding which phase we are currently in visit the Cook County Department of Public Health website.
As we move through phases of vaccine distribution, it is important to continue to take safety precautions to prevent additional infections from occurring. Wearing a mask, social distancing and hand hygiene are proven methods of reducing virus transmission and can help save lives.
Learn how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, including recommendations if there is a limited supply, based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).