Breaking: State of Illinois Updates Covid-19 Vaccine Eligibility


February 10, 2021 | by Amber Smock

Certain types of disabilities to be added to 1B eligibility for Covid-19 vaccine

February 10, 2021


Following on today’s earlier announcement about changes to the Covid-19 Phase 1B vaccine plan, we want to acknowledge that there has been some confusion about which new groups have been added. The Governor’s formal press release is at this link for your review. The Governor was saying that there are TWO groups of people who are being added as of February 25. The first is people with high risk factors, as outlined in the press release.

IN ADDITION, the State plans to add people with disabilities. Rest assured that the Governor’s Office will be providing further guidance soon on the definition of “people with disabilities.” We’ve been assured that the State is working hard on a very broad definition that will be inclusive of as many people with disabilities for Phase 1B as possible.

For the moment, stay tuned and keep an eye out for this forthcoming guidance. We thank the State for hearing the distress and concerns of all the disability communities in Illinois during this terrible pandemic, and we hope that local public health departments will follow suit. We appreciate your patience as we navigate these rapid developments. Thank you.

Original message below:

BREAKING NEWS: Today, Governor J.B Pritzker announced via this press release that as of February 25, people with certain types of disabilities living in the community will be added to the State’s Phase 1B eligibility for Covid-19 vaccination.

These newly eligible persons are at particularly high risk of getting COVID-19 and experiencing its most serious symptoms. Access Living applauds the State of Illinois for taking this important step forward, in response to hearing the concerns of Access Living and a number of disability advocates statewide, including the group Chicago ADAPT.

Per the State of Illinois, this list is subject to change as guidance evolves, and does not reflect an order of priority. People who have one or more of the following conditions are eligible beginning February 25:

  • 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

The press release further notes: “The Pritzker administration will begin working with local health departments and other providers across the state to include these additional higher-risk individuals into their community vaccination plans in the weeks ahead. Those health departments that have substantially completed their existing Phase 1B population prior to the February 25 statewide expansion date will be able to move forward earlier at the determination of local public health officials and IDPH.”

Please note, for those who live in the City of Chicago: the City has its own vaccine rollout plan separate from the State. The State and the City continue to be in dialogue about prioritization efforts. The City’s vaccine website is at this link.