3/24/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Vaccination Efforts Update

Dear colleagues,

As communicated by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS), State of Illinois employees, who were not already otherwise eligible, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Note: Not all jurisdictions (e.g. City of Chicago, Cook County, Lake County) and providers in those jurisdictions are moving to this phase at this time. Appointments may be available through other jurisdictions and at statewide vaccination sites.

This is hopeful news, and I strongly encourage all our staff to get vaccinated. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. The more people that are vaccinated, the faster we can return to normal life.

As always, our top priority at IDHS is to keep employees and customers as safe as possible. While your participation is completely voluntary, this information will help us monitor overall uptake among staff for infection control purposes. All information will be kept confidential. If you have already received your vaccination, please let us know using this survey.

In addition, I am happy to share some more information about how you can obtain your vaccination.

For those of you who would like to obtain a vaccination and have not done so, you may find the following information from CMS helpful.

  • How do State employees arrange for COVID-19 vaccination?
    • State employees, like any other eligible Illinoisans, may schedule an appointment for vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine provider.
  • Go to the State's COVID-19 vaccine locator at https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.
    • Enter your zip code to find vaccine providers near you. These locations may include local health departments, hospitals, neighborhood pharmacies, community clinics, or mass vaccination sites. Appointment scheduling links are embedded in the site. The Springfield Fair Grounds and the United Center site, for individuals residing in Chicago, provide large number of appointments. Please be patient and check regularly as vaccine supply is still currently limited.
  • Springfield Staff: Click here to schedule your vaccination appointment.
    • NOTE: You must click the header of the location in order to make your appointment.
    • If you are unable to use on-line scheduling and need assistance making an appointment, please call the toll-free IDPH hotline at 833-621-1284 to schedule an appointment. The hotline is open 7 days a week from 6am to midnight.

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 a reminder, after you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we encourage you to continue to follow guidance from IDPH and to take precautions in public places, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. Such precautions and requirements remain in place in all State offices and facilities.

We are greatly encouraged by the increasing number of vaccinations and availability of vaccines. This brings us yet another step closer to recovery.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS