COVID-19 Vaccination Information

The best place to get the most up-to-date information on the city's COVID-19 vaccine rollout is on the City of Chicago's COVID-19 vaccination website. We will also try to update this page as we receive information and updates from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Three Ways Chicago Residents Can Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine:

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Your first contact should be your health care provider, including your primary care provider, health clinic, or hospital where you have gotten medical care in the past. Over 350 health care providers have signed up with CDPH to distribute vaccine. Providers are also reaching out directly to schedule appointments with their existing patients, prioritizing those who are older with more underlying conditions. Health care providers can still sign-up to be vaccine providers.

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The City of Chicago has provided vaccines to pharmacies across Chicago. These pharmacies each have their own registration link which can be found below. 

The City of Chicago does not endorse any of the listed organizations.This list is provided only as a convenience. See the full disclaimer.

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Specific employers in prioritized essential worker groups will be able to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to their employees in 1b. CDPH is working directly with employers as vaccine becomes available; for example, first responders are already being vaccinated and others will begin soon. If you will receive your vaccine through your employer, you do not need to take any other action.

*If you have insurance but do not have a primary care provider, please check with your insurance company for a list of providers accepting new patients. If you do not have insurance, one option is to enroll with one of Chicago’s many Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Download the FQHC flyers in English and Spanish.

Zocdoc Scheduler:

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The Chicago Department of Public Health has partnered with Zocdoc to create a more centralized platform where people can schedule vaccination appointments when they’re available. To view available appointments through Zocdoc, click here.

United Center Vaccination Site

The United Center, 1724 W. Madison, began to operate as a Federally-run vaccination site on March 9, 2021.  The site is open to individuals in groups 1a, 1b, and 1b+ of the vaccine rollout. The Department of Public Health is reporting that despite lower doses than initially expected, the site will eventually be able to administer up to 6,000 doses of the vaccine per day. 

The city will begin to post additional appointments on Zocdoc as they become available; however, CDPH is encouraging that seniors use the call center to book their appointments. The call center is receiving a large volume of calls and residents are encouraged to stay on the line despite the hold times. 

How to Book an Appointment

Book through the Call Center at 312-746-4835:

 

  • The appointment call center (312-746-4835) is open only to Chicago residents ages 65 and older or those living in zip codes 60608, 60619, 60620, 60649, and 60652.

  • The call center hours are as follows:
    8 am - 8 pm Monday thru Saturday
    8 am - 4 pm on Sunday

     

Book through Zocdoc at zocdoc.com/vaccine:
 

  • Residents in group 1a, 1b, and 1b+ can still book their appointments on Zocdoc's website. This includes anyone 65 and older. 

There is no onsite registration and you must have an appointment to receive a vaccine at the United Center.

How to get to the United Center:

Driving: Entrance to the vaccine site is in Lot E of the United Center, off of Madison. Parking is available in Lot A with a free shuttle to the vaccination site.

Uber: Offering ride credits

Uber is providing 20,000 Chicagoans with $40 ride credits to get to the United Center. After a Chicago resident books an appointment via Zocdoc, they will receive an appointment confirmation email which will also ask if they need transportation to their visit. If they answer yes, they'll receive ride credits from Uber which will work only for rides to and from the United Center that are within Chicago city limits. 

CTA: The closest L station to the United Center is the Ashland Green & Pink Line station. The closest bus stop to the United Center is at Madison and Paulina on route 20. You can get directions from your destination to the United Center on CTA's Plan My Trip website or using Google Maps.

Vaccination Appointments for Homebound Persons

People who are homebound can sign up online to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at their residence. Caregivers will also be vaccinated under the program.

 

To be eligible, a person must not be able to leave their home because it “requires considerable and taxing effort," and must fit one of these categories:

 

  • Be a senior OR a person with a disability that requires in-home assistance, and

  • Be a person who has to use adaptive equipment (like a ventilator, wheelchair, etc.) and/or accessible transportation to leave home.

Homebound vaccinations will be administered by Chicago Firefighter emergency medical personnel. Vaccines are limited to those who are truly homebound and meet the above eligibility requirements. 

Cook County Vaccination Program:

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Cook County Government, Cook County Health and Cook County Department of Public Health are pleased to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to those living or working in Cook County. The distribution of COVID-19 vaccination will be done in a phased approach as vaccine supply is available and using guidance from local, state and national public health authorities. On their site, you can sign up for COVID-19 updates and information to schedule an appointment when administration expands to your phase. Providing all the information requested will ensure that you are notified properly as the program expands. Please visit their site frequently to access the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and the vaccine distribution program.

Sign up on their website to receive:

 

  • Updates on the Vaccine and the Community Vaccination Program

  • Notification for when vaccine administration is open to your phase

  • Information on scheduling a vaccine appointment through Cook County Health

  • Information on vaccine distribution locations throughout Cook County

Illinois Vaccine Finder

Looking for an available vaccine appointment. ilvaccine.org can help you locate appointments throughout the state of Illinois. The website does allow users to filter available appointments by county and offers links to providers' sites where users can sign up for available appointments. 

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

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The Jesse Brown VA Medical Center opened a stand-alone COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Veterans on Monday, March 29. The clinic will serve all veterans eligible for health care from the Veterans Health Administration, regardless of their age or any health conditions.
 

The clinic is located at 2215 W. Harrison Street in Chicago, just blocks from the Jesse Brown main hospital campus. Parking is available near the clinic, and there is free parking at Jesse Brown with free shuttle service to the clinic location and back. The vaccine clinic will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The operating hours on Wednesdays will 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Veterans can schedule vaccination appointments through their care team at Jesse Brown or by calling (312) 569-5801. Veterans can also visit www.chicago.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp for the current information about clinic hours. Veterans who get the COVID-19 vaccine and are not currently enrolled in VA health care will be registered in the VA system, and their eligibility for future health care will be determined.

Howard Brown Health Scheduler:

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Howard Brown Health is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to established patients and community members who are essential frontline workers or age 65 or older. Reserve your vaccine appointment online.

Appointments may be rescheduled based on the availability of the vaccine.

Essential frontline workers include:
 

  • First Responders (police, fire department, etc)

  • Education Workers (teachers, school support staff, day care workers)

  • Food & Agriculture Workers

  • Manufacturing Workers

  • Corrections Workers

  • US Postal Service Workers

  • Public Transit Workers

  • Grocery Store Workers
     

Due to supply, vaccination appointments are available at limited clinic locations in Chicago. The appointment for the second dose will be scheduled at the end of your first appointment.
 

All appointments are subject to change based on vaccine availability.

Details regarding the Howard Brown vaccination rollout plan will continue to change in the coming days. Please visit howardbrown.org/covid-19/vaccine for the latest information regarding scheduling and availability.

Rush Medical Scheduler:

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Rush has been working with local and city officials to begin delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to its community, following the guidelines outlined by the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health. Based on those guidelines, eligible people will include those 65 years of age or older and essential workers, including health care workers. Review the Chicago Department of Public Health’s phase 1b guidelines here.

Heartland Health Vaccine Survey:

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Heartland Health Center, located at 1300 W. Devon in Rogers Park, is a designated Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). As we continue with the vaccine rollout for phase 1b, they will be giving the vaccine to established patients who meet CDC and IDPH guidance. 

At this time, Heartland Health has limited vaccines. They are currently contacting their highest risk patients in 1b to ensure that they're receiving their dose. As they receive more vaccines, they'll continue to reach out to the remaining eligible 1b patients. This meant that they're not currently accepting calls for vaccine appointments until they have a steadier supply of vaccines.

However, they are looking to support residents while they await more supplies. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine from Heartland Health Centers, please take a moment to complete their online survey. As soon as more doses become available, they will contact individuals who have completed this survey. 

Swedish Covenant Waitlist:

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Swedish Hospital has created a waitlist to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their facility. At this time, they are preparing to vaccinate seniors ages 65 and older and those that still remain in group 1A. However, you may complete their online waitlist to receive more information as vaccine appointments become available. 

Transportation for COVID-19 Vaccines:

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For seniors and people with disabilities who need assistance to access their COVID-19 vaccine appointment will be able to take advantage of transportation resources. 

Special Needs Chicago

Special Needs Chicago has wheelchair accessible transportation throughout the Chicagoland area (city and suburbs) to assist people with getting to their COVID vaccine appointment. Call 630-668-9999 for more information or click here to book a reservation

Uber to Provide Free Rides to Vaccine Appointments

Uber has partnered with Walgreens Pharmacy to make it easier for people who don't have a car or a nearby pharmacy to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Uber will offer free rides to Walgreens stores and clinics for those who book an appointment and live in an underserved community. Uber will work with community organizations, such as the Urban League, to determine underserved communities that will be eligible for free rides. Those organizations will then work to distribute codes that community members can use to get the free rides. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-Out Updates:

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In December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.  

Vaccination Roll-Out

Dr. Arwady announced this week that beginning on Monday, January 25, the city will begin to inoculate Chicago residents who fall in phase 1B of the city's vaccination rollout. Individuals in group 1B include frontline essential workers and seniors aged 65 and older. 

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During the 49th Ward town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine on January 18 (available to view here), Dr. Luna from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) indicated there approximately 600,000 Chicagoans who fall in phase 1B of the city's vaccination plan. 

After the city is complete with inoculating people in group 1B, it will transition to phase 1C of the vaccine rollout plan; which includes other essential workers and people aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that put them at an elevated risk should they contract COVID-19. On Tuesday, Dr. Arwady indicated that phase 1C of the vaccination rollout is expected to begin by late March.

Individuals in phase 2 of the vaccination plan will be the final group of Chicagoans to receive a vaccine. This group includes people aged 16 and older who are not included in phase 1 of the vaccination rollout. CDPH anticipates phase 2 will begin to receive their vaccinations starting May 31. 

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During the town hall we hosted on January 18, Dr. Luna said most individuals will receive their vaccine from their primary care physician. The city is also enlisting retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers to assist with administering the vaccine. For especially vulnerable populations (e.g., those facing housing insecurity, undocumented immigrants, and those without a primary care physician), the city is partnering with city colleges to set up PODs (points of distribution) to vaccinate residents. 

At this time, there is not a public registration for the COVID vaccine. As more details become available on vaccine clinics throughout the city, CDPH will update its COVID vaccine website page. CDPH officials also recommend that residents sign up for the Chi COVID Coach, where information on how to get vaccinated will be texted to your phone once it becomes available. 

Dispelling Misinformation

There has been some misinformation circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine. Leading up to the pandemic, there have been decades of research on coronaviruses broadly. In January 2020, the genetic sequence for COVID-19 was released, which allowed researchers worldwide to begin working on a vaccine immediately. 

Before a vaccine is introduced to the broad public, it goes through a rigorous trial process, including being tested in laboratories and on animals. These tests help scientists identify which candidate performs the best before introducing it to clinical trials on humans. 

Once a vaccination candidate is introduced to human trials, it goes through three phases. During these phases, scientists identify any short-term side effects and risks and any relationship that exists between the dosage size a participant receives and the immune response. Scientists then compare participants in the human trials receiving a vaccine to those who are receiving a placebo. 

At all stages, from the laboratory to the final third stage of human clinical trials, scientists are rigorously evaluating and documenting results. These results are then reviewed by Institutional Review Boards to ensure their scientific validity, the integrity of the trials, and to protect participants. The process is thorough to protect the greater public health from any adverse outcomes. 

What This Means for Right Now

The development and approval of the vaccination is an incredible milestone in our battle against this global pandemic. However, we are still several months away from achieving herd immunity. It is imperative that we continue social distance and wear a mask any time we leave our houses. Right now, those are the best tools we all have in our toolbox to combat this deadly virus. 

Sign-Up for Chi COVID Coach

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Our office has received several inquiries about how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, the city does not have registration open. However, we recommend that folks sign up for the Chi COVID Coach, developed in 2020 by CDPH. As registration becomes available for a vaccine, Chi COVID Coach will notify you over text message with updates on the vaccine and how to receive one. 

The registration will walk you through four steps to sign up, including identifying any underlying health conditions that might put you at an elevated risk or if your occupation falls within an essential services category. To register, visit covidcoach.chicago.gov.

January 18 COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall

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The 49th Ward hosted a town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, January 18, 2021. Dr. Luna from the Chicago Department of Public Health joined to share information on the vaccine's efficacy and the city's vaccination rollout plan. 

How the mRNA Vaccine Works:

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The approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus of COVID-19. Instead, scientists used the genetic sequence of the virus to create a blueprint of the COVID-19 virus. The virus will trigger the body to produce the spike protein in the COVID-19 virus, which will signal our immune systems to produce the proper antibodies and T cells to combat the RNA blueprint. This means that should an individual contract the COVID-19 virus after being inoculated, the body's immune system will already have stored the information necessary to combat the virus. 

When people receive a vaccination, they might feel some side effects as their immune systems respond to the spike protein. The most common side effects include swelling and some pain at the injection site as well as fever, chills, headaches, and fatigue. These side effects are temporary and indicate that the immune system is imprinting its response to combat COVID-19.