As you likely know, each county in the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago control, oversee, and administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Although the university has no ability to secure and provide vaccinations to its community, we understand that many of you have questions regarding the city and state COVID-19 vaccination plan, and the university can assist in sharing vaccination information with our community. As the university is subject to the city of Chicago’s vaccination program, that program is the primary focus of this email. For those who live outside the city, we urge you to check with your county public health department for COVID-19 vaccination information.
As the citywide rollout will be subject to change based on public health planning and vaccine availability, we urge all students, faculty, and staff to sign up for updates through the city’s vaccine page at Chicago.gov/Covidvax.
Registering for Updates and Appointments
The city recently launched a tool called ZocDoc to help individuals confirm eligibility and receive notifications when new appointments are available. The city has also developed the Chi COVID Coach, which is designed to provide Chicagoans with critical information regarding symptoms, testing, and vaccine distribution. We highly encourage students, faculty, and staff—regardless of age and medical status—to register with both of these platforms to stay aware of the latest developments.
Illinois Tech as Vaccine Provider
We want to inform you that the university, led by the Student Health and Wellness Center, is currently pursuing approval to become a vaccine provider. At this time, it is not clear when the government may approve us and what it will mean for the university community if the government does approve us.
Current Chicago Department of Public Health Timelines
Based on what the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced so far, Chicago is in phase 1B, meaning that individuals age 65 and older and specific groups of highest-risk and frontline essential workers are currently eligible for vaccination.
CDPH estimates that phase 1C (which at present includes all other essential workers, Chicagoans ages 16–64 with underlying medical conditions, and university employees) will begin around March 29, subject to change by public health officials. Phase 2, which includes all Chicagoans age 16 and older, is currently estimated to begin at the end of May, according to CDPH.
IITRI and Our Health Services
As IITRI personnel are working on COVID-19 research, IITRI employees were recently deemed essential workers by the CDPH and were vaccinated. Our own health service employees, who have a similar classification, have also been vaccinated.
University Efforts to Expedite Community Distribution
We know that many of you are disappointed that the city and state have decided to include university employees in phase 1C, instead of the 1B phase. We share this concern, and please know that the university and public and private universities across the state are strongly advocating with the city and the state to include university employees in the 1B phase.
As we continue to advocate to state and city officials for increased vaccinations for every member of our community, we want to thank you for your continued patience and support in the face of this global pandemic. We are closer and closer to widespread vaccination each and every day, and we will do everything in our power to make that a reality as quickly as possible.