Illinois expands vaccine eligibility to those with serious health conditions

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements to include Illinoisans with serious medical issues such as heart disease and cancer.

The expansion to "Phase 1B+" of vaccinations includes anyone 16 and older with disabilities or underlying conditions who aren’t otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories, Pritzker said in a statement.

"As states and cities across the country expand eligibility for the vaccine, it’s vital that the most medically vulnerable like those with heart disease, lung disease and cancer have access to the vaccine, regardless of their age," Pritzker said in a statement.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the expanded list of eligible conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes, heart conditions, immunosuppressed states from a solid organ transplant, smoking, obesity, pregnancy, pulmonary diseases and sickle cell disease.