3/3/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Vaccination Campaign Update

Dear colleagues,

As we begin a new month, there is continued positive progress on vaccine efforts across the state. At IDHS, we have hit a major milestone and are thrilled to share that we have surpassed over 10,000 total vaccines given to staff, patients, residents, and IDHS community members.

We are seeing excellent results from the effectiveness of the vaccine, a huge drop in COVID-related nursing home deaths nationwide and a drop in positives in the IDHS Developmental Centers and Psychiatric Hospitals.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate that Illinois' Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations expanded as the State opened eligibility to a significantly larger group of residents. Recognized as Phase 1B Plus, the current phase of Illinois' COVID vaccine rollout now includes people with disabilities and people with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities.

The expansion applies to those 16 and older who weren't otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories. The State is working with local health departments and other providers as eligibility increases.

Do You Need Proof of Medical Conditions?

People eligible in the Phase 1B Plus will not need to prove that they have a disability or a high-risk medical condition, although many may receive the vaccine from their primary care doctors who will already be aware. A list of sites to sign up for vaccines is available at https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/.

Additionally, at IDHS, we are on the cusp of hitting 2,000 subscribers to our text campaign. We encourage you all to sign up to receive the text alerts and stay up to date on vaccination information! Just text "VACCINE" or "VACUNA" (Spanish) to 552020* (Message and data rates may apply. For privacy details, click here).

As always, please continue to follow the guidance set forth by IDPH and take the IDHS Vaccination pledge. Protect yourself: wear a mask, socially distance, and get vaccinated when it's your turn. Please be well.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS