Chicago COVID-19: Vaccine distribution tentative dates set for next phases: 1A, 1B, 1C, 2

Chicago restaurants could soon reopen for indoor dining

ByMichelle Gallardo, Eric Horng, and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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Chicago's newly-released timeline has the next phase starting Monday, for essential workers and seniors, and it sets a target date for the general public.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The city of Chicago has set tentative dates for each phase of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan.

Phase 1A

Chicago is currently in Phase 1A of the plan, with healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff eligible to get vaccinated.

Phase 1B

Phase 1B is set to begin on January 25, with Chicagoans over 65, non-health care residential settings, including homeless shelters and frontline essential workers. Frontline essential workers include grocery store workers, manufacturing, daycare, K-12 and early education workers, public transit, agricultural workers, continuity of government and postal workers.

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The city expects most people in Phase 1B to get vaccinated in February and March.

Phase IC

Phase 1C is tentatively scheduled to begin on March 29 for Chicagoans ages 16-64 with underlying medical conditions and all other essential workers.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is tentatively scheduled for May 31, which would include everyone over the age of 16 not previously recommended to be vaccinated. But, there is a caveat.

"I want to make very clear that date is totally dependent on how much vaccine we get, what changes we see from the federal government," said Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Dept. of Public Health. "I just want to set the expectation that the amount of vaccine that we're receiving is minuscule compared to what I expect the demand to be."

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COVID-19 vaccines are not currently authorized for younger children. The city said they will be added when a vaccine is approved for children.

"Most people, especially in the 65-plus, will be vaccinated in a clinical setting: through a hospital, through your own doctor's office, potentially through a pharmacy. And there will be more to come on that," Dr. Allison Arwady said.

Officials are asking providers to prioritize within each group. In the 65 and older category, Arwady said those 75 and older should be at the top of the list, followed by those 65 to 74 with underlying conditions, and then the rest of that of group.

"Say you're a healthy 65-year-old, frankly I would appreciate it if you maybe are willing to wait a few weeks," Dr. Arwady said.

Officials said more information about the vaccine registration process will come later this week. But they said most people in 1B will register with their healthcare provider, pharmacy, or employer.

For more information on Chicago's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, visit

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With Chicago's metrics falling, the city moved to Tier 2 mitigations on Monday, allowing businesses such as casinos, bowling alleys, museums and movie theatres to re-open. That opening, however, is expected to take place over several days and weeks.

"We'll definitely be losing money you know," said Chris Johnson, owner of Classic Cinemas. "In the first half of the year, you're ramping up, you're building an audience and getting people acclimated to going out again."

Officials said the city could come down to Tier 1 as early as this weekend, allowing limited indoor dining to resume as soon as next week.

"We've got to remain diligent, but I'm optimistic that we'll see indoor dining in restaurants relatively soon," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.