2/8/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Vaccination

Dear colleagues,

The State of Illinois continues to make progress on administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in both Phase 1a and 1b of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan. As detailed by the medical experts, the vaccine is safe and remains the best action to fight COVID-19. On a weekly basis, IDHS Phase 1a health care workers are getting vaccinated, and many are about to receive their second dose. Across the IDHS 24/7 facilities, we have already vaccinated a total of 4,559 staff, residents, and patients.

At IDHS, we continue to work with IDPH and the State to diligently build out provider capacity to ensure fast and efficient distribution. Illinois residents in Phase 1b, including all residents who are age 65 and over and all frontline essential workers (including our own employees who fall into these categories), are in the process of receiving the vaccine.

With an estimated 3.2 million Illinoisans falling into Phase 1b, this is a large and obviously important task. Employees who are a part of Phase 1b (e.g. our FCS and DRS local office workers) should have recently received a communication regarding the same. If you have questions or need information: Please email dhs.covid19@illinois.gov.

Over the weekend, according to IDPH, just over 63,000 vaccines were given, the third highest number of doses administered in a day with the State almost two months into an unprecedented vaccination campaign. Nearly 1.3 million shots have already been administered in all.

Thank you to the hundreds of staff, stakeholders, residents, patients, and staff from our sister agencies who have submitted photos and videos! Please note we do not use these for social media purposes and advise for your own protection of your identity, to not post on social media.

As we continue to move forward in our vaccination campaign, we want to remind you to get up to date information about COVID-19 vaccination by texting "VACCINE" or "VACUNA" (Spanish) to 552020* (Message and data rates may apply. For privacy details, click here.)

I want to begin the week by encouraging you all to do everything you can to stop the spread of COVID-19. As always, please continue to follow the guidance set forth by IDPH and take the IDHS Vaccination pledge. Continue to submit your selfies too! Wear a mask, socially distance, and get vaccinated when it's your turn. Please be well.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS