Illinois COVID-19 vaccine guidelines do not include pot smokers in Phase 1B; those who smoke cigarettes included

When can I get the COVID vaccine in Illinois? Gov. Pritzker announced IL expanding eligibility April 12

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, March 19, 2021
IL COVID vaccine guidelines do not include weed smokers in Phase 1B
Illinois pot smokers are not included in the state's Phase 1B plan for COVID-19 vaccinations.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois residents who smoke marijuana will not be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early.

That's the current guideline under the state's vaccination Phase 1B plan.

This decision was made despite the fact that cannabis smokers are at a higher risk for respiratory issues.

Officials said they are following guidance put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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However people who smoke cigarettes or have smoked do qualify for the earlier phase.

The CDC said adults who smoke have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID.

The agency also said about 16% of Illinois adults are smokers. It's not clear how health officials will verify whether someone is a smoker.