COVID-19 Update & Vaccine Info
Chicago is currently in the 1b stage of the vaccine rollout. Learn more about the phases here. This includes residents who fall under 1a and 1b which would be the following:
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
People age 65+
Prioritized essential worker groups (educators, grocery store workers, manufacturers, etc.)
Our office is receiving calls from residents who are finding it hard to get an appointment. Please be aware that the demand is much higher than the number of vaccines the city has. Patience is imperative. Even if you are eligible, it may take weeks to get an appointment.
The City has set up sites with the City Colleges, has established pharmacy/grocery store and hospital partners, worked directly with long term living facilities and businesses to give as many residents access as possible. Your first contact should be your primary health care provider to see if they can accommodate you.
If you do not have a primary care provider, you can use Zocdoc, a centralized vaccine appointment booking site. If you are currently eligible for vaccination, you can sign up to receive an alert when vaccine appointments are available in your neighborhood. Translation is available in 100 languages.
Another avenue is to sign up for the Cook County vaccine program if you're are eligible. Any Cook County resident who is eligible can sign up. Again, appointments are released as they become available. While the City of Chicago is unable to vaccinate residents 16+ with underlying health conditions because of the current shortage, you may find something outside of the Chicago.
Essential workers may be able to receive a vaccine through their employer. Employers wishing to become a vaccine provider can click here.
The vaccine will be offered to all Chicagoans at no cost. Don't forget to sign up for Chi COVID Coach. This app provides you with information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Chicago, as well as how and where you can get vaccinated when it is your turn. Registration is free and your information will be protected.
New Quarantine Guidelines
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is issuing updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated persons, based on CDC guidance. A quarantine is not required following close contact exposure to COVID-19 for people who:
Have been fully vaccinated (14 days after the 2nd dose for 2-dose vaccines or 14 days after a 1 dose vaccine)
Have not developed any COVID-19 symptoms since their exposure to COVID-19
Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine following return from domestic travel, as long as they remain without any symptoms of COVID-19. If fully vaccinated people develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should isolate and be evaluated by a medical provider.
Vaccinated people should continue to engage in other COVID-19 public health measures, such as masking, social distancing, and washing their hands.
Fully vaccinated inpatients and residents in health care settings should continue to quarantine following an exposure. Separate guidance will be issued for quarantine in fully vaccinated healthcare workers.
Chicago Department of Public Health selects Prism Health Lab to operate COVID vaccine sites
The Chicago Department of Public Health announced today that it has selected Prism Health Lab through a competitive bid process to operate COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Chicago. Through the $15 million contract, Prism will operate new mass vaccination sites in the coming months and assume operation of City-funded points of dispensing sites (PODs), with an option to also conduct mobile vaccination programs as needed.
With the awarding of this contract, CDPH will transition operation of City-operated PODs to Prism, a minority-owned, Chicago-based company, to expand the capacity and flexibility in City vaccine operations. The contract period continues through the end of 2021, with possibility of a one-year extension if needed.
“We are very pleased to partner with Prism Health Lab to expand our vaccination distribution program in the weeks and months ahead as vaccine supply increases. They’re a Chicago company with significant experience operating COVID-19 mass testing sites and conducting vaccination campaigns,” said Christina Anderson, CDPH Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Operations, COVID Response. “We are making good progress, with 1 in 4 Chicago residents 65 and older having received at least their first dose, but we have a ways to go, and Prism will help get us there.”
Prism’s proposal stood out for its diversity in staffing, their operational experience with testing, and their plans to conduct community-based recruitment to fill new staff positions, from licensed healthcare providers to non-clinical administrative positions. The company is also planning training programs to support local hiring. In addition, Prism also boasts strong partnerships with diverse community-based organizations, such as Habilitative Services, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, Healthy Hood, and Chicago Medical Society, which means the City’s investment in COVID-19 vaccine operations will benefit local communities.
A community-based medical practice that has served Chicago residents since 1987, Prism Health Lab is a 100 percent minority-owned business. Seventy-five percent of Prism employees are Black, Latinx, Indigenous or people of color.
“We’re excited for this partnership with CDPH so Prism can rapidly deliver culturally competent access to life-saving vaccines to the communities that have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Zul Kapadia, President and CEO of Prism Health Lab. “This partnership is also an opportunity to offer vocational skills and build-out healthcare capacity within the communities that we are slated to serve. Together we will bring long lasting equitable healthcare to the people of Chicago.”
To further expand COVID-19 vaccination clinics and programs, the City will issue a second $5 million Request For Proposals next week and invite community-based providers to submit proposals to operate additional mobile teams in various community settings.