City leaders prepare Chicago residents for next phase of vaccine distribution

Chicago's top doctor, Dr. Allison Arwady, received her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday as well as discussed the next vaccination phase for Chicago.

Phase 1B of vaccine distribution officially kicks off Monday, which means all Chicagoans over the age of 65 qualify as well as many frontline workers. 

However, the city says as of right now, it only has enough vaccine to meet a very small portion of the demand.

"We do not have anywhere near enough vaccine to vaccinate anywhere near the number of people who want to get vaccinated beginning on Monday," said Dr. Arwady.
Officials say 730,000 more Chicagoans qualify for vaccine starting Monday, but the city only has an initial batch of 34,000 doses. That is less than 5 percent. There are also some people still leftover from the first phase of distribution. 
"I want to clarify that Phase 1A does not close! Anyone who is eligible -- Healthcare, LTC, continue to remain eligible for the vaccine," said Dr. Arwady.

On Monday, adults over 65, first responders, teachers, transit and postal workers and grocery store workers all qualify. However, individuals interested in receiving the vaccine must have an appointment. 

"Every dose of vaccine in Phase 1B will be given by appointment. You cannot show up at a pharmacy, a point of dispensing, a doctor's office and think there's going to be a line for getting the vaccine," said Dr. Arwady.
President Biden has set the goal of distributing 100 million doses of vaccine in his first 100 days in office, which some doctors say may not be quick enough to contain the virus by summer.
"It seems like they have a lot of work ahead of them to do. They didn't inherit the kind of distribution strategy that they had hoped for, that they expected," said Prof. Stephen Caliendo from North Central College. 

 During Phase 1B, vaccines will be distributed at doctor’s offices, hospitals, workplaces and mass vaccination sites.