Where to get the Covid vaccine in Illinois
The CDC has a new vaccine finder tool here.
As expected there is confusion and chaos around the distribution of the vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issues guidance on who can get the vaccine but that doesn’t matter because no one seems to have it. There appear to be four phases of distribution. 1a, 1b, 1c and 2. We are currently in Phase 1b but they are taking people 65 and older. Phase 1b is supposed to be 75 and older, plus others (see below).
2/11/2021 update: Expansion of Phase 1B Eligibility on February 25, 2021 Phase 1B Eligibility Will Expand to Individuals With Comorbidities and Underlying Conditions; Will Prioritize Those with Disabilities. Per the media Chicago and Cook County do not have enough vaccine to expand eligibility so this will only apply to areas outside of Cook County.
This list 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.
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Where to get the Covid vaccine in Illinois
Until a week ago the only people I knew who were vaccinated live in Wisconsin, Florida, Indiana and Georgia. Finally someone I know who lives in Chicago got it! A person I used to work with, who is retired, was able to get the vaccine on February 2. Beginning on January 25 her and her husband (also retired) spent hours each day from when they woke up until past midnight searching for vaccine. They registered and searched Cook County Department of Public Health, Walgreens and Jewel stores. Essentially what happens on some sites is you fill out a form and when you get to the end they tell you there are no appointments. Then you have to start all over again.
On January 31 her husband was contacted by Cook County (where they were registered) via text that he could get the shot at the Tinley Park Convention Center. When you are contacted you need to respond immediately because all the appointments fill up quickly. They live near Park Ridge and have a car.
She was never contacted but she went with him anyway hoping that she could get it as a walk-in, which she was able to do. There is absolutely no guarantee that that will work every time. A former employer, who now lives in Florida, also brought his wife with to his vaccination appointment and she was able to get it.
Anyway back to Tinley Park. The site is run by the Illinois National Guard and is extremely organized. When you get there they will ask for your bar code. They never received an email but they still had the text and the link to the bar code is in the text! I’m not sure what people without smart phones are supposed to do. When they were done they scheduled their second appointment which has to be at the same location. Tinley Park has the Moderna vaccine. She had a terrible headache for a day and her arm was still sore a couple days later. You may want to get the shot in your non-dominant arm.
Where to get the Covid vaccine in Illinois – Register everywhere
One of my neighbors is also trying to get the vaccine. She has been searching all Walgreens and CVS’ in a 15 mile radius and none of them have it. Another neighbor who temporarily decamped to an Age+55 rental community in the burbs was able to get it when their community arranged it. Someone said they heard someone got it through Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge. A friend’s mother (a resident of Lake County, IL) lucked out and got a slot at the Grayslake Fairgrounds. Another friend I know (a retired veteran) had his son search for two weeks until he found a vaccine at the VA Hospital in North Chicago. The long and the short of it is – Register everywhere – and then it’s the luck of the draw!
State of Illinois: The State of Illinois list has mostly Walgreens on it’s website with links to each Walgreens website to register. If you search by a downtown zip code Stroger and Provident hospitals come up as well as some suburban locations. If you live in the suburbs this is a good place to search for links to other locations.
- Arlington Heights Health Center – 3250 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights (Register for this location through Cook County)
- Belle-Clair Fairgrounds – 200 S. Belt E #2650, Belleville
- Blue Island Health Center – 12757 S. Western Ave., Blue Island
- Carle Foundation Hospital – Champaign
- Clark County Health Department – Martinsville
- Cottage Grover Health Center – 1645 Cottage Grove Ave., Ford Heights
- Crawford County Health Department – Robinson
- East Side Health District Mobile team – various locations in East St. Louis
- Elmhurst Hospital – Downers Grove
- Franklin Williamson Bi-County Health Department – West Frankfort
- Gibson Area Hospital – Gibson City
- HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital – O’Fallon
- Iroquois Memorial Hospital – Watseka
- Jo Daviess County Health Department – (2 locations Elizabeth and Galena)
- Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital and Center for Health Services – (3 locations Polo, Oregon, Dixon)
- Lee County Health Department – Dixon
- Madison County Health Department – Wood River
- Massac Memorial Hospital – Metropolis
- McDonough District Hospital Health Services – Macomb
- Morton East Adolescent Health Center – 2423 S. Austin Blvd., Cicero
- North Riverside Health Center – 1800 S. Harlem Ave., North Riverside
- Provident Hospital – 500 E. 51st St., Chicago
- Riverside Medical Center – Kankakee (2 locations)
- Robbins Health Center – 13450 S. Kedzie Ave., Robbins
- Schuyler County Health Department – Rushville
- South Suburban College – 15800 State St., South Holland
- John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital – 1969 Ogden Ave., Chicago
- Swedish Hospital – Chicago
- Thornton Fractional High School – 18500 Burnham Ave., Lansing
- Tinley Park Convention Center – 18451 Convention Center Dr., Tinley Park
- Triton College – 2000 5th Ave., River Grove, T Building on the East Campus
- University of Illinois Health – Chicago
Cook County Department of Public Health: Register through link or call the Vaccine Sign-Up Hotline: 833-308-1988 M-F 7am-7pm CT. I called the number several times and it was busy.
Cook County sites
- Tinley Park Convention Center – 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477
- Triton College – 2000 5th Ave Building T, River Grove , IL 60171
- Arlington Heights Health Center – 3250 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights
- Austin Health Center – 4800 West Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60651
- Blue Island Health Center – 12757 S Western Ave, Blue Island, IL 60406
- CORE Center – 2020 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612
- Cottage Grove Health Center – 1645 Cottage Grove Ave, Ford Heights, IL 60411
- Dr. Jorge Prieto Health Center – 2424 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60623
- Englewood Health Center – 1135 W. 69th St., Chicago, IL 60621
- Logan Square Health Center – 2840 West Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
- Morton East Health Center – 2423 S Austin Blvd, Cicero, IL 60804
- North Riverside Health Center – 1800 S Harlem Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546
- Provident Hospital of Cook County – 500 East 51st Street, Chicago, IL 60615
- Robbins Health Center – 13450 S Kedzie Ave, Robbins, IL 60472
Cook County partner sites
Epic Urgent Care, 770 E Dundee Rd, Palatine, IL 60074, (708) 733-7750
Family Christian Health Center, 31 W 155th Street, Harvey, IL 60426, (708) 271-8777
Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 701 W North Ave, Melrose Park, IL 60160
Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S 1st Ave, Maywood, IL 60153
MacNeal Hospital, 3249 S Oak Park Ave, Berwyn, IL 60402
Oak Street Health Berwyn, 7000 Cermak Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402
Oak Street Health Lincoln Crossing, 1401 Western Ave, Chicago Heights, IL 60411
PCC South, 6201 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402 (708) 386-0845
All other Illinois Counties – You can also find links to other counties here. You must be a resident of the county you register in.
Costco: The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available at Costco Pharmacy in Illinois.
CVS: The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available at CVS Pharmacy in Illinois. Update 2/5/21: Per the Chicago Tribune 80k doses are being redirected to CVS pharmacies in Downstate Illinois.
Hyvee: According to the State of IL there are 16 locations administering the vaccine in Illinois. I tested locations in Peoria and Springfield and they had no appointments.
Jewel Osco: According to the State of IL there are 92 locations administering the vaccine in Illinois. The only Jewel’s in a 50 mile radius of downtown that come up are 370 N. DesPlaines and 4032 W. Foster. They had no appointments.
Mariano’s: According to the State of IL there are 6 locations administering the vaccine in Illinois. Mariano’s website shows 18 in the city and suburbs that offer it. They had no appointments.
Walgreens: According to the State of IL there are 170 locations administering the vaccine in Illinois. See the State of Illinois website to search for Walgreens by zip code. Each Walgreens has a unique website to register. However the first three links I tried got an error message. You can go here. Also you’ll need to be signed into your Walgreens.com account. If you don’t have one you’ll need to sign up. You should, they have good deals! I wasn’t able to go through the process because I’m not eligible. My understanding is you fill out a form and when you get to the end they tell you there are no appointments. Then you have to start all over again.
Walmart: According to the State of IL there are 8 locations administering the vaccine in Illinois.
Advocate Healthcare: They are vaccinating their most vulnerable patients based on CDC guidelines. If you’re a patient, they will contact you to schedule.
Southern Illinois Healthcare: Current patients sign up for a MyChart account to get notification of when vaccines are available. They have no vaccine currently.
University of Illinois Medicine: Anyone eligible can get the vaccine there. “ALL AVAILABLE VACCINE APPOINTMENTS ARE FILLED. We apologize for any inconvenience. We have currently met our scheduling capacity for available vaccine. Please continue to check back to this page for updates on scheduling availability.”
Plan of attack
I’m not eligible yet but when I am I plan to do the following. Contact my Primary Care Physician, register at every site I can and probably check all of the above locations a few times a day until I get an appointment. I am limited on where I will go because I don’t have a car. However I’m not high risk and even if you get the vaccine tomorrow you still can’t go anywhere. At this point almost no one has it and the virus is so rampant that even if fully vaccinated you still have to stay on lockdown. If I was older or high risk or both I would spend a part of every hour, every day trying to get an appointment day and I would take an appointment almost anywhere. I would just rent a car to get there. As it stands now I don’t anticipate being fully vaccinated until late fall or December.
Current status of vaccination in Illinois – Abysmal
Illinois’ distribution of the vaccine has been abysmal. Per the CDC Illinois has received 2,053,325 doses of vaccine but has only administered 1,178,369 so 875,000 are somewhere. Not surprising in this poorly run state. Governor “No toilets” needs to pick up the pace on distribution!
There’s little vaccine available currently and chaos and confusion regarding distribution of what little there is. Stay locked down until your turn comes later this year. This situation isn’t unique to our poorly run state. A friend in a neighboring state, who is a healthcare professional, spent months preparing to vaccinate the masses has vaccinated exactly zerp people as of February 4. They don’t have any vaccine either. As I find out anything new I will update this post. Be patient! Good luck!
Where to get the Covid vaccine in Illinois – Four phases of distribution
Phase 1a: On December 1, ACIP recommended that 1) health care personnel§ and 2) residents of long-term care facilities¶ be offered COVID-19 vaccination first, in Phase 1a of the vaccination program. This includes approximately 24 million people.
Phase 1b: On December 20, 2020, ACIP recommended that in Phase 1b, vaccine should be offered to persons aged ≥75 years and frontline essential workers (non–health care workers), Approximately 49 million persons, including frontline essential workers (non–health care workers) and persons aged ≥75 years are recommended to receive vaccine in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination program (Table).
Phase 1c: persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not recommended for vaccination in Phase 1b should be offered vaccine. This is approximately 129 million people.
Phase 2: all other persons aged ≥16 years not already recommended for vaccination in Phases 1a, 1b, or 1c. This is all remaining people.