Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expands to everyone 16 and older starting Monday in Evanston and in the rest of Illinois (except the City of Chicago, which will wait another week).

Vaccines currently are limited to those 65 and over, younger individuals with certain medical conditions, and essential workers.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that an additional 150,000 appointments will become available on Monday at state run sites and pharmacies in suburban Chicago including Cook County.

Just because eligibility expands on Monday it does not mean everyone will get their shots immediately. It simply opens up registration to more people, although additional doses are coming in every week.

The City of Evanston will continue to provide shots in reverse age order. The city says 95% of Evanstonians 65 and over have received at least their first vaccine dose, and 65% in that age range are fully vaccinated. Evanston has higher vaccination rates for those 65+ than both the nation and the state of Illinois.

With eligibility expanding on Monday, Evanston’s health department will now prioritize those age 60 and above, and then continue working down to younger individuals once an age group has the chance to register.

To date, the city has distributed more than 23,000 vaccine doses. Evanston runs multiple vaccination clinics for city residents, but locals are also eligible to be vaccinated in other locations if they can get an appointment.

For more information about how to register, go to the city’s website.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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