The State of Illinois will receive an additional $124 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further expand its robust COVID-19 vaccination program, including more than $90 million for the state and $33 million for the city of Chicago.
Approximately 75% of the funding will be focused on underserved communities and those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to help ensure individuals are equitably vaccinated. This funding will allow the state to further build-out existing equity efforts, including partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers and safety net hospitals, collaboration with African-American/Black and Latino places of worship, rural vaccination teams, and mass vaccination sites in communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Thanks to the federal government’s expanded pipeline, more than 80 local health departments have already opened vaccinations to individuals 16 and older. All Illinois residents will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning Monday, April 12.
“With this new funding from the Biden/Harris administration, Illinois will move quickly to further expand our aggressive efforts to reach those most vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With mass vaccination sites across the state, rural vaccination teams reaching those with less access to healthcare, and partnerships with trusted providers in underserved communities, we have built the infrastructure to end this pandemic as quickly as possible, and these new resources will only help us reach that day even sooner. I’m grateful to President Biden and his administration for making these resources available and for their steadfast partnership since taking office.
“Health equity is important across the health care spectrum, but especially now as we’ve seen our African-American/Black and Hispanic populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as well as lower vaccination rates in these communities,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “This additional funding will help us provide the resources needed for our public health partners to increase vaccine accessibility and acceptance.”
IDPH will develop an equitable distribution plan in which the majority of funding will be allocated to local health departments and community-based organizations to help increase vaccination rates. A portion of the funding will also be used to expand the public health infrastructure so that we have the capacity to support additional vaccination efforts.
For information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, go to coronavirus.illinois.gov. For those having difficulty navigating online services to make vaccination appointments, the state’s Vaccine Appointment Call Center can help. The call center, at 1-833-621-1284, is available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight, can take TTY calls, and uses both English and Spanish speaking call agents with the availability for translation into other languages.