Forest Park, IL—The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) today expanded vaccine eligibility to all county residents age 16 and older, or Phase 2, of the Community Vaccination Program. Residents can pre-register for vaccine at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov and will be notified when appointments become available at Cook County Health sites.
“We have set up the systems, the infrastructure, and the technology to begin to vaccinate all residents who wish to be vaccinated and we look forward to moving efficiently and equitably through the process,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “With over 90 percent of our age 65 and older population having received at least one dose, we are eager to protect all other ages, particularly among those age groups driving the recent rise in COVID case numbers.”
In recent weeks, Cook County expanded vaccine eligibility to essential workers in the 1B, 1B+ and 1C phases. With promises of increased vaccinations to arrive in coming weeks, officials are confident in moving forward.
“Cook County Health has administered nearly 500,000 vaccines since January, , a number that’s been growing exponentially in recent weeks as we have seen an increase in vaccine supply,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health. “I’m so very proud of all our employees and our community partners, who together are have administered over 1 million shots countywide.”
The Phase 2 group of those age 16 and older comprise about 1.4 million residents – by far the largest group to date. Despite the growing demand that the expansion will drive, CCDPH is ready to meet the challenge.
“We have created a system of delivering vaccines through a number of methods, working with over 100 partners countywide to make it happen,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi, Senior Medical Officer and Co-Lead of CCDPH.
“From mass vaccination sites to vaccines brought directly to homebound residents and vaccinating in workplaces and other local community venues, we are bringing the vaccine to where individuals and communities feel most comfortable and have the best access to getting vaccinated. The biggest challenge continues to be the amount of vaccine we receive but we’re encouraged by recent increases in supply as well. All that said, please be patient as we cannot get to every resident right away, but know we are working to get to you.”