Access Living friends and allies:
Illinois Vaccine Eligibility Update: As of today, Monday April 12, the state of Illinois has expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16 and up, outside the city of Chicago. The city of Chicago will expand to all Chicago residents age 16 and up on April 19. April 19 is the federal deadline to make vaccines available to all age 16 and up. Also, on April 20, the state’s United Center mass vaccination site will switch to using Johnson and Johnson shots only (meaning, one shot not two). Read more here from ABC in Chicago.
Until April 19, Chicagoans age 16 and up can seek vaccines outside the city of Chicago. The State’s website for making vaccine appointments (online or by phone) is at this link. Cook County is also running vaccine registration at this link, and the City of Chicago’s vaccine registration site is at this link. Don’t forget, if you are seeking a vaccine appointment, be sure to check with your doctor’s office to see if they are helping people get vaccinated. Access Living also continues to update our Covid-19 resource list at this link, including a section on the vaccine.
John Oliver Shines Spotlight on Long Term Care Problems: The British comedian and television host John Oliver focused on problems in U.S. long term care in the most recent episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Oliver delivers solid facts about how the nursing home industry works; although coupled with his trademark humor, his commentary explains many of the problems faced by those in nursing homes and who are at risk of being placed in nursing homes, as well as the front line staffers. In the last few minutes of the show, Oliver points out that things don’t have to be this way, and that in fact there are opportunities to ensure people aren’t placed in nursing homes in the first place. Check it out!
Reminder! HCBS Access Act Comments Due April 26: One of the solutions highlighted by John Oliver is the draft Home and Community Based Services Access Act (HCBS Access Act). This is a new bill draft designed to ensure that people on Medicaid who want HCBS, rather than nursing home or institutional placement, actually have that choice. The U.S. Senators leading this effort are asking for input on this draft from the public. Share your stories about why HCBS is important, and your input on the bill draft, no later than Monday, April 26, to HCBSComments@aging.senate.gov.
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