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Illinois expanding COVID-19 vaccine access to private doctors offices, small medical providers

(WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced Thursday an expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine administration plan to include private doctors’ offices and small medical providers, which can now begin to order and administer COVID-19 vaccine directly to patients.

Interested providers can register with the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE). Thus far, 60% of adult residents have received their first dose, including 85% of residents ages 65 and older.

MORE: Illinois on track to fully reopening on June 11

To further expand vaccine accessibility, state-run vaccination sites will now accept walk-ins in addition to pre-booked appointments.

“Vaccination is how we can get back to summer camps, swimming lessons, and youth sports; but it is not something the Illinois Department of Public Health can do on its own.  We need everyone’s help.  If you’ve been vaccinated, talk with your friends and co-workers about getting vaccinated,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Research shows that health care providers, as well as friends and family, are who most people look to when deciding to get vaccinated. Wear your mask, avoid large crowds, and get your shot.”

Over 9.7 million vaccine doses have been administered to Illinois residents in every corner of the state, with millions of those shots taking place at mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, community outreach initiatives, and mobile clinics. 

With vaccine scarcity no longer the primary barrier to vaccinations, the administration is shifting its program to meet people where they are as much as possible.

This effort includes partnering with community organizations to host sites at a location of their choosing, rural and rapid response mobile vaccination teams, and today’s announcements expanding to doctors’ offices and accepting walk-ins at state-supported sites.

Currently, 1,054 doctors’ offices across the state have already registered to administer the COVID-19 vaccine on site, offering their patients a familiar, trusted environment to receive the shot. To begin providing the vaccine, doctors must register with I-CARE to coordinate the ordering of doses.

IDPH is coordinating vaccination clinics with religious groups, community organizations, mutual aid programs, neighborhood associations, and other organizations. To host a clinic in your community, sign-up at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinationclinics

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and find information on other vaccine locations, go to https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Illinois COVID-19 numbers here.
  • For mobile testing site locations, click here.
  • You can catch up on the latest Heart of Illinois ABC coronavirus coverage here.
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