Chicago's vaccine rollout is moving on schedule, which will allow the city to start with Phase 1C in two weeks, but the fight for seniors to get the vaccine will get more crowded.
- Up first, breaking news about COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago. Who's allowed to sign up is changing.
- CBS 2's Marie Saavedra joins us live from a vaccination website at Malcolm X College with the new groups about to become eligible. Marie.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Brad and Irika, with this group plus the previous two, this means the majority of Chicagoans will be eligible for the vaccine by the end of this month. Now the Chicago Department of Health, when they started this vaccination effort, projected March 29th for the opening of Phase 1C and with the current supply of vaccine that the city's getting, they'll be right on time.
LORI LIGHTFOOT: We've got to stay diligent. We've got to continue to work hard but we are moving exactly in the right directions.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: The right direction in this pandemic has always been down. The number of deaths, cases, and now the movement down the list of phases eligible to get a COVID vaccine. Beginning March 29th, appointments will open in Chicago for people with underlying medical conditions, many of which the state classified as 1B Plus. This also includes religious organizations, restaurant workers, hotel staff, and those working at salons, plus 11 other business sectors. All of them, the next round of essential workers who don't have the option of working at home.
ALLISON ARWADY: We're opening March 29th but we're really talking about people being able to be vaccinated in April or May. And a lot of folks are going to be vaccinated in May, realistically.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Dr. Allison Arwady stressed patients there still will be more demand than supply, as we've seen with every phase before. And this change means the majority of Chicagoans will be eligible by the end of the month. It also means seniors have 12 days before their fight for appointments gets more crowded.
ALLISON ARWADY: If you know anybody over the age of 65, please, anywhere in the city of Chicago. Call that number and we'll get you an appointment because it's going to get a little harder after that.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Now Dr. Arwady and the mayor stressed seniors will remain the priority any time, even when 1C opens up. But it will be difficult so that's why if you can get in, do so now. Also, we really just scratched the surface on the huge number of people who are in 1C, so you'll find that full list right now at cbschicago.com. Live at Malcolm X College, Marie Saavedra, CBS 2 News.