1/15/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: IDHS Staff Vaccinations Have Started!

Dear Colleagues,

We are marking a new beginning. After a challenging year, we have entered a time of renewed hope. We are thrilled to report that vaccinations began with our staff across our 24/7 facilities. As you know, at IDHS, we have been planning and taking the necessary steps to ensure that our staff and community receives the vaccine in as timely a manner as possible and its heart-warming to know we have hit this milestone.

As our first group of staff is vaccinated, we want to capture these moments with positivity, encouragement and smiles. We are accepting photos and short videos of staff being vaccinated!

Submit your photo or video by texting "SELFIE" (English) or "SPASELFIE" (Spanish) to 552020. Then upload your photo, or email it to DHS.COVID19@Illinois.gov.

We will continue to diligently monitor developments, working closely with IDPH, the Governor's Office, and local health departments to keep you informed. It is projected that vaccinations should become available to the general public in the spring and summer of 2021.

Additionally, we want you to receive the fast, up to date information about COVID-19 vaccination, please text VACCINE (ENGLISH) or VACUNA (SPANISH) to 552020*. (Message and data rates may apply. For privacy details, click here.)

On a personal note, I plan to get the vaccine and do what I can to protect others and myself from COVID-19, and I hope you will do the same. I believe our colleagues and trusted physicians at IDPH and outside health experts have provided trustworthy guidance on the safety of these vaccines. An effective vaccine will help keep you and our patients and residents safe, and our staff safe and able to continue to provide our high-quality care across the State of Illinois.

While we continue learning more about vaccine developments and planning, please plan to get your flu shot if you haven't had a chance to date. It is especially important this year to protect your immune system. We also want to remind you to where a face mask, and practice social distancing. Finally, thank you for your ongoing cooperation, dedication and support during these unparalleled times. Be well and take good care.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS