Pritzker announces new vaccine availability and advancements in Restore Illinois plan

By Diksha Mittal, Staff Reporter

On March 18, Gov. Pritzker issued a press release stating all Illinois residents ages 16 and over will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 12.

“COVID-19 has not gone away, but the light we can see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter as more people get vaccinated,” Gov. Pritzker said.

However, the vaccine will not be immediately available for all residents on April 12, and it will take some time for it to be available in all regions and for everyone. 

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On March 20, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional priority groups who will be eligible to receive the vaccine before April 12.

Starting March 22, higher education staff, government workers and media will be eligible to receive the vaccine, and starting March 29, food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders will be eligible.

According to the press release, the state of Illinois will be moving from Phase 4 to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois mitigation plan. This will be done through a “Bridge Phase [that] will serve as a transition period with higher capacity limits and increased business operations, without prematurely embracing a reckless reopening before the majority of Illinoisans have been vaccinated.”  

Along with the new vaccine availability and progress with the Restore Illinois plan, Pritzker encouraged residents to continue wearing their masks.

“It’s time to begin to cautiously move toward normalcy, and it’s imperative that we do so in a way that maintains all the progress we’ve made to date,” Gov. Pritzker said. “With projections from the Biden Administration indicating that weekly vaccine deliveries to Illinois will surpass one million doses in April, it is fully in our power to turn the page on this dark and devastating chapter even as we race a tough clock: the new variants. I invite all Illinoisans to join me in wearing your mask and getting vaccinated when it’s your turn. Step by step, we can get out of this the same we came into it – together.” 

 

Staff reporter Diksha Mittal can be reached at [email protected]

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