Phase 1B Plus: Everything We Know About Illinois' Expansion of Phase 1B COVID Vaccinations (2023)

Illinois' Phase 1B is about to change as the state opens up eligibility to a much larger group of residents.

Known as Phase 1B Plus, the current phase of Illinois' COVID vaccine rollout will soon expand to include people with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities.

But that won't be the case everywhere.

Here's what we know so far about the expanded Phase 1B, set to begin on Feb. 25:

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Who Will Be Eligible Under Phase 1B Plus and When?

Beginning Feb. 25, the state plans to increase eligibility for Phase 1B to include people with certain underlying conditions and comorbidities.

The list of qualifying high-risk medical conditions (which is subject to change) includes:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Condition
  • Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

The state later adding smoking to the list of "eligible conditions."

The expansion applies to those 16 and older who weren't otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories, the state said, adding that it plans to work with local health departments and other providers as eligibility increases.

That's in addition to the health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who qualified in Phase 1A of the state's rollout as well as the frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and older who were eligible at the start of Phase 1B, which included more than 3.2 million Illinois residents.

Here's a look at those who already qualified under Phase 1B:

  • Residents age 65 and over
  • Frontline essential workers, which means "residents who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance. This includes:
    • First responders:Fire, law enforcement, 911 workers, security persPDonnel, school officers
    • Education:Teachers, principals, student support, student aids, day care worker
    • Food and agriculture: Processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care
    • Manufacturing:Industrial production of good for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufactures
    • Corrections workers and inmates:Jail officers, juvenile facility staff, workers providing in-person support, inmatesU
    • USPS workers
    • Public transit workers:Flight crew, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, para-transit drivers, in-person support, ride sharing services
    • Grocery store workers:Baggers, cashiers, stockers, pickup, customer service
    • Shelters and day care staff:Homeless shelter, women’s shelter, adult day/drop-in program, sheltered workshop, psycho-social rehab

Which Locations Are Expanding Phase 1B and Which Aren't?

Several local health departments, hospital systems and Chicago-area counties have said they will not be expanding their Phase 1B just yet, saying vaccine supply remains too limited.

(Video) Illinois opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B Plus population

Here's a look at who is and isn't expanding so far:


Chicago was among the first to announce it would not be joining the state.

"We're not ready at this point ," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live video Tuesday. "The city of Chicago, Cook County, Evanston, DuPage County, Stickney - there may be others. All said, we're just not at a point to be able to move ahead."

According to Arwady, more than 950,000 Chicago residents would become eligible if the city expanded Phase 1B under the state's guidelines.

"We cannot add a million people to the about almost a million people including the 1A, who are already in competition for the existing doses," she said. "It'll just make everybody more frustrated. So as we have more vaccine, we definitely will be opening up and go from there."

Cook County

Cook County Board PresidentToni Preckwinkle in a joint statement with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot echoed those claims, saying "we are not being supplied with enough doses that would allow us to expand eligibility in these phases."

DeKalb County

DeKalb County officials say the area will not be expanding Phase 1B until those eligible at the start of the phase receive their vaccines.

DuPage County

DuPage County's Health Department said in a statement it can't expand eligibility "until vaccine supply increases."


(Video) Vaccine Rollout Continues In Illinois With Phase 1B

In a note to residents, Evanston said it did not anticipate being able to expand Phase 1B eligibility "due to the large number of individuals 65 years and older in Evanston who are currently eligible for vaccines as part of Phase 1b, and the limited supply of vaccines available to date."

Grundy County

In a Feb. 15 release, Grundy County said it "remains in Phase 1b, which we now understand includes people under age 65 years old with high-risk medical conditions."

"Although these folks have been included, we haven’t yet seen an increase in vaccine allocation directed to Grundy County. Our estimate is that 1b now includes more than 15,000 people, and we continue to see only hundreds of vaccines each week," the county's health department said. "It is going to take months to offer a vaccine to everyone who now qualifies."


"Osco Drug Pharmacy is following the state of Illinois Phase 1b expanded guidelines that take effect February 25th," the company said in a statement.

Kane County

"The Kane County Health Department will phase in 1B part 2 eligible residents in their clinics as more vaccine becomes available," the county's health department said. "Some of our providers will continue to focus on 65+ years of age patients while others are better positioned to include those patients with medical conditions."

Kankakee County

"The Health Department is committed to getting as many people vaccinated as quickly and as efficiently as possible," the county's health department said in a statement. "However, we continue to receive a very limited supply of vaccine. Expanding phase 1B will further delay vaccinating healthcare workers, seniors, and frontline essential workers already in Phase 1A and 1B not already vaccinated and waiting for their turn."

Lake County

"Until vaccine supply increases, Lake County will not be expanding to the 'Phase 1b plus' group announced by the governor, which includes people ages 16–64 with co-morbidities, high risk health conditions, and disabilities," spokesman Christopher Coveli said in a statement. "Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for transitioning between phases, we will look to move in to the 'Phase 1b plus' group when 60-70% of persons within the current phase are vaccinated or when supply of vaccines exceeds demand in the current phase. However, pharmacies and other entities that receive vaccines directly from the state or federal government are free to follow the Illinois expansion that begins February 25, 2021."


(Video) Illinois Expands Phase 1B To Include People Under 65 With Medical Conditions

"We will be [expanding] according to each county’s jurisdiction," a spokesperson for the company said. "Appointments can be made as of [Thursday], but 3/1 is the vaccination date, pending appointment availability."

McHenry County

"Based on current vaccine allotments from the State, MCDH will continue focusing its Phase 1b vaccination efforts on 65 and older and first responders," the county said in a statement.

Oak Street Health

"We aren't planning to expand eligibilityto younger people with health conditions - we're focusing our efforts on older adults (patients and other seniors) in our communities," the health system said in a statement. "We are seeing enough demand from this group and it aligns withthe expectations that the City of Chicago and Cook County have set in remaining focused on vaccinating those currently eligible.The exception is that we are working in partnership with the City's Protect Chicago Plus initiative where for eight weekends (the previous two and upcoming six), we're vaccinating residents ages 18+ in the Belmont Cragin and Montclare neighborhoods (two of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, as outlined by the City). We're really proud of the work we're doing there - it's making a measurable impact on vaccination rates of Latinos in Chicago."

Will County

"Like so many counties in our area, we are unable to expand to what is now called '1B-plus' due to lack of adequate vaccine supplies," Will County's health department said in a statement. "We will continue to focus on Phase 1B, and those 65 and older, with the hopes that vaccine supplies improve soon."

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is still expected to expand eligibility in Phase 1B starting Thursday, despite shipping delays that led to a shortage of doses for some cities last week.

Do You Need Proof of Medical Conditions?

Pritzker noted that people eligible in the expanded phase will not need to prove they have a high-risk medical condition, though many will likely receive the vaccine from their primary care doctors.

"We're not making people walk in with papers from their doctor to prove that they have diabetes, or to prove that they have cancer. We are relying on people, the honor system, for people to present themselves who have those comorbidities," Pritzker said. "We also are obviously - the nurses and doctors that are providing those doses to people can ask them questions about their condition to confirm that. And many people are in fact going to their regular health provider who already has their record on file and knows their comorbidity."

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, says that while proof of condition isn’t explicitly required, it will help to speed the vaccination process.

“Most individuals who have a comorbidity might have a recent pill bottle with their names on it, they may have a doctor’s note, or they might have a recent summary sheet that indicates the conditions that they have,” she said during a recent panel discussion on NBC 5 Chicago. “We’re not trying to create any barriers or difficulties, but we want to make sure that we are targeting the people who need this vaccine most, and those individuals with comorbidities can help provide some proof in addition to the attestation that they may have to make so that they can get the vaccine.”

For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, clickhere.

(Video) COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Update: Phase 1B Vaccine Eligibility Expansion (3/1/21)

Why is the State Expanding Eligibility?

“Those who are under 65 and live with comorbidities, such as cancer survivors or those living with heart disease, have an elevated risk of serious complications or death if they contract COVID-19," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. "Illinois is moving forward in accordance with guidance from the CDC to expand our eligible population as supply allows, getting us closer to the point when the vaccine is widely available to all who want it. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinoisans to wear our masks and follow the mitigations so that more of our neighbors are healthy and alive when it’s their turn in the vaccination line.”

But why expand with so many regions not receiving the necessary doses?

"It seems like there are some rural areas in the state that may have been supplied more vaccine, they may not have as many people, they may have gotten through a high percentage of their people over 65 and their essential workers," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

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What is phase 3 Covid vaccine? ›

The phase III part of the study involves assessing how the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18. This group will allow assessment of how well the vaccine works to prevent people from becoming infected with COVID-19.

Why do you have to get two Covid shots? ›

For the two-dose vaccines, receiving one dose does provide you with some protection, though we do not know the full extent of the protection or how long it might last. Receiving only one dose is not as useful as receiving the full second dose.

Who is getting 2nd Covid vaccine? ›

Everyone aged 5 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

How long do Phase 3 vaccine trials last? ›

Phase 3 trials may take six to nine months to allow early assessment of safety and efficacy, particularly if conducted in areas with a high risk of infection, but with follow-up continuing for two years or more to assess long-term safety and efficacy.

What phase of clinical trials is the COVID vaccine in? ›

A Global Phase III Clinical Trial of Recombinant COVID- 19 Vaccine (Sf9 Cells)
Condition or diseaseIntervention/treatmentPhase
COVID-19Biological: Recombinant COVID-19 vaccine (Sf9 cells) Other: Placebo controlPhase 3

Is Pfizer or Moderna booster better? ›

Some “mix-and-match” studies have found that getting a different booster may even lead to a slightly better immune response than getting the same vaccine again. However, the data isn't fully clear. There isn't a clear advantage to switching between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Which COVID shot is the best? ›

The CDC says there's a preference for the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines over the Novavax or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. This is based on data from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Do I need booster if I had Covid? ›

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because: Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19. Vaccination helps protect you even if you've already had COVID-19.

Who should not take the COVID vaccine? ›

According to the CDC, anyone who has a severe allergy (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any of the mRNA vaccine ingredients should not receive this vaccine. The CDC says people with allergies to certain foods, insects, latex and other common allergens can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

How long does COVID immunity last after vaccine? ›

Both infection and vaccination substantially reduce the risk of infection for at least 6 months. Different people are going to have different immune responses to both the vaccine and infection.

How long does COVID last? ›

Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified.

How many patients are in a Phase 1 trial? ›

During Phase 1 studies, researchers test a new drug in normal volunteers (healthy people). In most cases, 20 to 80 healthy volunteers or people with the disease/condition participate in Phase 1.

Are Phase 1 clinical trials safe? ›

Phase I clinical trials: Is the treatment safe? Phase I studies of a new drug are usually the first that involve people. Phase I studies are done to find the highest dose of the new treatment that can be given safely without causing severe side effects.

What is Phase 4 of vaccine trial? ›

A type of clinical trial that studies the side effects caused over time by a new treatment after it has been approved and is on the market. These trials look for side effects that were not seen in earlier trials and may also study how well a new treatment works over a long period of time.

Is COVID vaccine still a trial? ›

Are the approved Covid-19 vaccines still under clinical trial? Yes – as it is normal and required for monitoring of a vaccine to continue after it has been approved.

Is Pfizer in Phase 3 trials? ›

The Phase 3 clinical trial was designed to determine if the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 disease.

Which vaccine is better against Omicron? ›

Moderna data suggest new Covid booster is more effective against Omicron variants.

Can you mix Pfizer and Moderna? ›

Public health has also made it clear that it is safe to mix and match Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for booster shots.

When is the newest COVID booster coming out? ›

What You Need to Know. Updated (bivalent) boosters became available on: September 2, 2022, for people aged 12 years and older. October 12, 2022, for people aged 5–11 years.

What is the difference between a vaccine and a shot? ›

Vaccines are injections (shots), liquids, pills, or nasal sprays that you take to teach your body's immune system to recognize and defend against harmful germs. For example, there are vaccines to protect against diseases caused by: Viruses, like the ones that cause the flu and COVID-19.

How long do you have antibodies after Covid? ›

After infection with the COVID-19 virus or a COVID-19 vaccine, your body can take 2 to 3 weeks to make enough antibodies to be found in an antibody test. So it's important that you're not tested too soon. Antibodies may be remain in your blood for many months.

Do I need a third booster shot? ›

A third dose is for people who are moderately or severely immune-compromised; their initial immune response from the first 2 doses may not have been strong enough, so a third dose is recommended as part of their primary vaccine series.

When is COVID not contagious? ›

Everyone's immune response is different, and we can spread the virus for different amounts of time. Masking on days 6-10 helps reduce the risk that we will get others sick after recovering from COVID-19. Most people are no longer infectious after day 10.

What medications should be avoided before the COVID-19 vaccine? ›

It is also not recommended to take antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl, Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec) before getting a COVID-19 vaccine to try to prevent allergic reactions. If you have questions about medications that you are taking, talk to your doctor or your vaccination provider.

What shots do you need every 10 years? ›

Every adult should get a Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) or Tdap booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.

What diseases don t have a vaccine? ›

But there is still — despite 30 years of effort — no AIDS vaccine. There is no universal flu vaccine. There are no vaccines with long-lasting protection against malaria or tuberculosis. None for parasites like Chagas, elephantiasis, hookworm or liver flukes.

How long does Pfizer vaccine last in body? ›

mRNA, which is the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, degrades in the body naturally after a few days, and the spike protein it creates only stays for a couple weeks [3].

Can I get Covid twice? ›

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

How long is Moderna vaccine good for? ›

Vaccine may be stored between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) for up to 30 days.

When is COVID most contagious? ›

People are thought to be most contagious early in the course of their illness. With Omicron, most transmission appears to occur during the one to two days before onset of symptoms, and in the two to three days afterwards. People with no symptoms can also spread the coronavirus to others.

How do you clear sinuses from COVID? ›

How do I Treat Nasal Congestion with COVID-19?
  1. Get plenty of rest to help your body get the energy it needs to fight the infection.
  2. Drink lots of fluids to help keep your mucus thin so it can be cleared more easily from your lungs and sinuses.
  3. Take over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants. ...
  4. Take OTC antihistamines.
Nov 15, 2022

How long does COVID sore throat last? ›

Most symptoms of COVID-19 last anywhere from several days to 2 weeks. But this can vary from person to person.

Which vaccine is in Phase 3 trial? ›


This vaccine has reached Phase 3 trials.

How do Phase 3 trials work? ›

Phase III clinical trials compare the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment against the current standard treatment. Because doctors do not yet know which treatment is better, study participants are often picked at random (called randomized) to get either the standard treatment or the new treatment.

What is phase one of Covid vaccine? ›

Intervention Model Description: In Phase 1 is dose escalation design, eligible participants will be randomized to received study vaccine or placebo from low dose to higher dose and later to the formulation with CpG adjuvant. In phase 2, eligible participants will received 2 selected doses (from phase 1) or placebo.

How many patients can be enrolled in Phase 3 studies? ›

Researchers design Phase 3 studies to demonstrate whether or not a product offers a treatment benefit to a specific population. Sometimes known as pivotal studies, these studies involve 300 to 3,000 participants.

Which vaccine is most effective against Omicron? ›

Moderna data suggest new Covid booster is more effective against Omicron variants.

Which COVID vaccine is safest? ›

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are strongly recommended as safe and effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. From December 2020 to December 2021, about 470 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the U.S.

How often do Phase 1 trials fail? ›

It takes 10 to 15 years and around US$1 billion to develop one successful drug. Despite these significant investments in time and money, 90% of drug candidates in clinical trials fail.

How long do Phase 1 trials take? ›

Phase 1 trials, which examine the safety and dosage of a treatment, typically last several months. Phase 2 trials, which examine the efficacy and side effects of a treatment, typically last several months to two years.

What is Phase 1b clinical trial? ›

Phase 1b Clinical Trial means a clinical trial of a pharmaceutical product into infected patients with the primary purpose of determining safety, efficacy, metabolism, pharmacokinetic properties and clinical pharmacology of such product.

When should I get my fourth Covid shot? ›

Everyone 5+ who has had their primary series should get the updated booster at least 2 months after any COVID vaccine or booster dose. You should get the updated booster even if you have received a booster shot before.

What is the gap between two Covid vaccines? ›

What is the vaccination time span? The doctor says that it takes about 2-3 weeks for antibodies to develop after the first dose is taken. “With the first dose, people develop antibodies slowly, but with the second dose, this process gets faster.

Is the 2nd Covid shot the same as the 1st? ›

Is the second dose less or more than the first dose? Both doses are the same amount for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna vaccine also uses two doses that are the same.


1. Madison County working toward next vaccination phase
(KSDK News)
2. Illinois expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
(KMOV St. Louis)
3. IL, IN to expand vaccination eligibility Monday
(ABC 7 Chicago)
4. Covid-19: How Should We Handle the Schools, and the Challenges of Vaccine Distribution
(UCSF School of Medicine)
5. COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expansion kicked off Thursday in parts of Illinois
(WGN News)
6. Colorado expanding COVID vaccine eligibility this week
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