CHICAGO (CBS) — Starting Monday, if you live in Illinois, it could be harder to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The state is telling providers to expect fewer shipments.READ MORE: Organizer Planning To Go Ahead With Concert In Valparaiso, Indiana This Summer, With Some COVID Precautions
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported Sunday, the reason for this is that the state says right now, more people need the second dose of that Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is prioritizing federal shipments toward those patients in need of the second dose – meaning the first dose will not be as available to eligible people.
The IDPH said it has given providers enough time to make changes for appointments.
Chicago handles its own supply of the COVID vaccine, but we did speak to one woman in the city who’s feeling effects of the high demand around the second shot. She’s trying to get the first dose at Walgreens.
But if you want that, the site makes you sign up for the second dose at the same time.
“When you go to make the second dose, you get a message that there’s no appointments available for the second dose,” said Arlene Tengel of Chicago. “Therefore, it just kicks you out, you’re not able to make a first appointment or second appointment.”READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured In I-57 Expressway Shooting Near 119th Street
The state’s decision to cut down on initial available doses calls into question whether Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest efforts to get shots to more people will be effective.
In a little under two weeks, he wants to expand Phase 1B to include people 16 or older with high-risk medical conditions.
Chicago and Cook County will not do the same, as both areas expect vaccine to run low.
Walgreens issued the following statement Sunday:
“In this fluid situation during which vaccine inventory remains limited, our aim is to ensure eligible patients are able to receive vaccinations as soon as possible. We are continuing to enhance our vaccine scheduler with a great sense of urgency and are committed to providing the most convenient solution for our customers. We have dedicated teams actively working through scheduler issues to ensure an easy, secure, and transparent experience for all eligible individuals scheduling their vaccinations according to vaccine availability.”
The state expects this first-dose shortage to last until March.
Here are some links to help you make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine: (We have to caution you, it may be difficult to find an available shot in the near future and near your home, but we did want to share all these links in one place to perhaps make it easier for you.)MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Temperatures Climbing; Sunny Skies Ahead