Chicago Phase 1C vaccine start date set for March 29

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago health officials updated the city's COVID vaccine distribution plan Wednesday, with March 29 set as the date the city will begin vaccinating residents in the Phase 1C group.

In 1C, more essential workers are eligible, including those in hospitality, construction, law, banking and media, as are Chicagoans 16 to 64 with serious health conditions.

RELATED: Chicago COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by zip code

It's been twelve weeks since the first vaccine shot was administered in the City of Chicago. Currently, one in four adults have received at least their first dose. With supplies on the increase, Mayor Lightfoot made it official: soon a lot more people will be eligible to roll up their sleeves.

WATCH | Who is eligible in Chicago's Phase 1C?
EMBED More News Videos

In 1C, more essential workers are eligible, including those in hospitality, construction, law, banking and media, as are Chicagoans 16 to 64 with serious health conditions.



"This is good news for the tens of thousands who are anxiously awaiting their turn to get the life-saving of the live-saving COVID-19 vaccine," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

City officials are calling on seniors who haven't been vaccinated to do so before the end of the month, when getting an appointment will become even more difficult as a lot more people are added to the list of those eligible.

"Most Chicagoans will be eligible to be vaccinated March 29. But just because you're eligible it doesn't mean you're going to be able to be vaccinated right away," said Dr. Allison Arwady, director, Chicago Dept. of Public Health. "It's all going to depend on vaccine supply. We do expect you will be able to make a vaccine appointment in April or May. Underscore, April or May."

Mayor Lightfoot announces date for Phase 1C move


EMBED More News Videos

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces Chicago will move into Phase 1C of vaccine distribution on March 29



For the hard-hit restaurant industry which initially lobbied to be included in the first phase of eligible essential workers, news that those in the front and back of the house can soon gain access, is key.

"We need the vaccine. We need our employees get vaccinated. Make sure they're safe. Make sure our customers are safe," said Sam Sanchez, Illinois Restaurant Association.

1C is the last priority group before vaccinations open to the population at large. More information on who will be eligible as part of Phase 1C on the city's vaccine website..

This expansion is only being announced for Chicago residents. The collar counties have yet to make their own decisions on the matter.

SEE ALSO | Local health experts answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions


EMBED More News Videos

CDPH Medical Director Janna Kerins and the Lake County Health Dept.'s Dr. Sana Ahmed answer your most pressing COVID-19 vaccine questions.



"As we have vaccine available, we will of course open up appointments to other groups," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

There continues to be no significant increase in federal vaccine deliveries. Next week's combined allocation to Illinois and Chicago is just 1% higher than this week's and 8% above last week's deliveries, per CDC data.

Officials said Wednesday if federal supplies increase on the level they are promised to, vaccines may be available to the population at large by May 1.

SEE ALSO | CVS pharmacy COVID vaccine program expanding to Illinois, with new appointments available

Meanwhile, Governor JB Pritzker is considering new plans for a phased reopening of Illinois.

The governor is now considering relaxing restrictions, including raising the current 50 person limit on gatherings at event spaces.

The governor could also green light conventions, reduce the spacing requirements in restaurants and include a community's vaccination rate in reopening metrics as requested by suburban mayors.

"It provides hope to people to be able to look at something and say if we move to this level, we're going to have this now," said Darien Mayor Joseph Marchese.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.