Across the world, news is cycling regarding the long-awaited arrival of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19. With the authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in December, we have reached an exciting turning point in this pandemic. As we enter this new phase, the Illinois Department of Human Services is committed to garnering trust in the COVID-19 vaccination process, ensuring safety and equity in the vaccine distribution process, and restoring the livelihoods of Illinoisans as we work to recover from COVID-19.
We are also committed to keeping you informed of the latest information related to vaccination in Illinois. This site is designed to provide IDHS staff, our community partners, and the public with information about safety, vaccine logistics, communication efforts, and equity initiatives across Illinois. Information is fast moving, and a lot is still unknown, but we will be continuously updating this site as new information becomes available.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is working closely with our state agency partners, in particular the Illinois Department of Public Health, to ensure that human services providers and community members are appropriately included in the different phases and categories and that vaccine distribution is implemented as efficiently and safely as possible.
The State of Illinois will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in phases based on need and risk and guidance from the CDC.
Information is moving quickly and is fluid as there are many factors that are being considered. IDHS will do our best to facilitate this information and share with our human services staff across Illinois. We will frequently update this webpage and will post questions and answers as we receive them.
At this time we know the following:
* The Vaccine is Safe and Effective: The vaccine has been authorized for distribution through a rigorous scientific and regulatory process. Large, multi-step clinical trials by Pfizer and Moderna that enrolled more than 70,000 people demonstrated these vaccines are safe for individuals 16 years of age and older and 95 percent effective at preventing the virus that causes COVID-19.
* The Vaccine is Important for the Health and Safety of You and Your Family:Not only do you have the opportunity to ensure your own health and safety by vaccinating, but you can also significantly contribute to the health and safety of others by maximizing immunity in our communities. Protecting yourself also helps protect your family and friends, especially those who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
* The Vaccine is an Important Step in Recovery, but it will Require All of Us to Defeat COVID-19: While the arrival of vaccines is good news in the fight to defeat COVID-19, it does not signal an immediate end to the pandemic. Just as we have adopted precautions we all know work – masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing – which we must continue, we now must ensure that all those who are eligible to vaccinate do so. Our hope is simple; we urge you to get the COVID-19 vaccine and share your experience with others.
You play an essential role in keeping your community healthy. Thank you for joining us to learn more. We look forward to the future when the threat of COVID-19 is contained, and we can resume the activities we all treasure. We appreciate your patience and feedback; please know that our state leaders are advancing on this effort with care and swiftness to ensure that Illinois can be on a path to recovery from COVID-19.
To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov/; you may need to check back frequently as new sites for vaccination are being added daily.
Please send questions to DHS.COVID19@illinois.gov.