If Chicago continues to get a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines, the city could open up eligibility to all adults by April 19.
That was Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s message to Vice President Kamala Harris during her inaugural visit to Chicago on Tuesday. The Biden Administration wants all American adults to be eligible for doses by the 19. The previous deadline was May 1.
But, the mayor warned that increased eligibility doesn’t mean appointments will be easy for adult residents to come by in the days ahead.
Lightfoot said that “given the supply of vaccine, it may be a few weeks or so before they get an appointment to be able to come in. So we just caution with folks to be patient and, in the meantime, to be diligent.”
During her Chicago visit, Harris asked union members to share their experience receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and act as “role models” for family and friends who may be reluctant even as Illinois prepares to open access to all adults.
Harris visited a vaccination site in Chicago that opened last week for union workers. Chicago officials also hope the dedicated site will improve vaccination rates among Black and Latinx city residents.
After touring the site, Harris spoke to union members and said the location was “a model for the country.” She told a group of vaccinated union members that their next task is encouraging others to receive a vaccine once eligible.
“We’re all here to make a statement; we understand the significance of getting vaccinated, that it’s bigger than us,” she said. “We are doing it because we know this is a room of role models and people look to you to see how things should be done.”
Illinois health authorities reported 2,931 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 13 additional deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported more than 1.2 million cases and 21,395 deaths.
Illinois plans to open vaccine access to people age 16 and older starting Monday.
The Associated Press contributed.