COVID-19 VACCINE - PHASE1B: Frontline Essential Workers & Individuals Age 65 and Over

With COVID-19 vaccines being provided across the state and the nation, we are seeing a light at the end the pandemic tunnel. UIC and its academic health enterprise, UI Health, are committed to offering COVID-19 vaccines to the campus community as quickly and safely as possible to help control community spread. Our approach to vaccination is based on prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Chicago recently entered phase 1B of the vaccine rollout which expands eligibility to frontline essential workers and individuals age 65 and over. Individuals from Phase 1A continue to be encouraged to also receive vaccination.

UI Health has offered vaccinations to all health care workers and those who support the health care system, including faculty, staff, students and trainees in the health sciences colleges. Health care personnel includes all work classes that support the academic health enterprise structure and are not exclusively patient-facing roles.

UI Health has been able to quickly move through 1A tiers to offer vaccinations to over 20,000 UI Health and UIC health sciences staff, faculty, students and trainees.

The goal of the UI Health vaccine operations team is to get vaccine into the arms of individuals within our community to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. As we move through upcoming vaccine distribution phases, anyone in the UIC community who qualifies for a vaccination will receive an email invitation to set up an appointment through Epic/MyChart, the patient electronic health record portal used by UI Health. You may choose to accept the invitation to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible, or at any time in the future when you are ready.

(UPDATED 2/2/2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases: What phase are you?

Below is an overview of the phased approach to vaccine distribution based upon supply availability. This outline defines the categories of individuals who qualify during each phase – and how it relates to our campus community.

As vaccine becomes broadly available across the country, employees and students may also choose to be vaccinated at other locations – including personal providers, county health departments and local pharmacies.

Members of the UIC community located at other sites (Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, Quad Cities and Urbana) may receive a vaccine invitation and may choose to schedule vaccination appointment in Chicago or in their local communities as available. It is required that you receive the second dose of vaccine at the same location where you received your first dose.

Current Phase Overview

Rolling chart of phases - indicating start of Phase 1B

Vaccine distribution is divided into priority phases. The phases outlined here are guidelines to reflect how organizations are to prioritize and proceed with vaccine invitations.

Please remember, even as you become eligible, it may take some time to get an appointment. The Chicago Department of Public Health expects that it may take at least through February and March for frontline essential workers and those who are 65+ to get their first dose of vaccine because of limited supply and the number of providers who are able to administer the vaccine. More information is available with CDPH here.

As we work toward expanding vaccine distribution to additional groups on campus, we will host virtual town hall meetings to provide you with the most up-to-date vaccine news and information to make an informed decision about scheduling your vaccination.

Phase 1A: Healthcare Personnel and Longterm Care Residents

UI Health has offered vaccinations to all health care workers and those who support the health care system, including faculty, staff, students and trainees in the health sciences colleges.

Health care personnel includes all work classifications that support the academic health enterprise structure and are not exclusively patient facing roles.

Examples of health care personnel include:

  • emergency medical service personnel
  • nurses and nursing assistants
  • physicians
  • technicians
  • therapists
  • dentists
  • dental hygienists and assistants
  • phlebotomists
  • pharmacists
  • students and trainees
  • contractual staff
  • dietary and food services staff
  • environmental services staff
  • administrative staff

Long-term care residents are also included in this phase.

Phase 1B: Frontline Essential Workers & Individuals Age 65 and Over

The University and UI Health are preparing for the next phase of vaccinations (1B). Phase 1B includes:

  • individuals age 65 years and older
  • non-health care frontline essential workers, including: first responders, preK-12 education workers, food and agriculture workers, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, public transit workers, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers and shelters.

In Phase 1B, UI Health patients and other UIC faculty and staff 65 years and older will be offered the vaccine.

Phase 1C; Individuals Age 16-64 with Underlying health conditions, higher education workers

In the weeks and months ahead, continued planning for additional roll out to other priority populations will move to Phase 1C. This phase includes:

  • Individuals aged 16-64 years old with medical conditions that increase the risk for complications from COVID-19 infection,
  • Other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health
  • The State of Illinois has classified higher education workers in this group.

The remainder of our UIC faculty and staff will be offered vaccination at that time.

Phase 2: All individuals age 16 and over not previously recommended

All individuals age 16 and over not previously recommended for vaccination.

UIC undergraduate students who do not have underlying health conditions will be offered vaccination when distribution will be open to the general population in this phase.

COVID-19 ACIP Vaccine Recommendations

Our approach to vaccination is based on prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Please be assured that you will only receive an invitation to make an appointment for a vaccine if we are certain that we have ample vaccine available for distribution.

We strongly encourage anyone who receives an invitation to schedule an appointment to do so for the health and well-being of our entire community.

How to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine:

UI Health is distributing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine based on the guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being offered to individuals in Phase 1b: individuals age 65+ and frontline essential workers (including first responders, pre-K – 12 education workers, childcare workers, grocery store employees, and postal service workers.

Do not schedule an appointment if you do not meet the criteria for Phase 1b, as we want to make sure those who are at the highest risk have an opportunity to receive the vaccine

Learn about UI Health COVID-19 vaccine appointments here.

Team Vaccine Volunteer Inquiry

Are you interested in volunteering to support UI Health’s vaccine distribution?

As vaccine distribution continues to expand in the city, the state and across the country, UI Health continues to ramp up capacity to distribute vaccines for patients and campus community in priority-eligible phases. In particular, we are seeking volunteers with the ability to perform vaccinations.

Learn more about volunteering here.

UIC Students - Faculty Volunteers Needed!

UI Health is requesting any interested health sciences students or faculty help with our COVID-19 vaccination efforts. There are many ways to get involved, including: administration of vaccines, registration, wayfinding and monitoring.

  • UI Health – Credit Union 1 Arena Vaccine Clinic: Credit Union 1 Arena
    Located at 525 S. Racine, this clinic is currently seeking volunteers for Mondays and Wednesdays

    • Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Medicine Students for vaccine administration (Mondays, Wednesdays)
    • Nursing Faculty to supervise students (Mondays, Wednesdays)
    • Any students or non-clinical faculty, staff to assist with registration and wayfinding
    • Clinical faculty and registered nurses to serve as post vaccine administration monitors for high risk patients and (as necessary) administer vaccines.

SIGN UP HERE to register as a volunteer at the Credit Union 1 Arena Vaccine Clinic

CONTACT: With questions contact Angel Griffin at

Learn more about how to vaccine support activities here.

Vaccine Support Requests

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs is facilitating UIC’s coordinated review and response to meet the growing diverse requests for assistance in rolling-out COVID-19 vaccines in the months ahead. This UIC COVID-19 Vaccine Support website will collect and post information about ongoing COVID-19 vaccine efforts involving UIC faculty, staff and students. Learn more here.

Complete Vaccine Support Request Survey

Additional Vaccine Resources