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COVID Vaccine Appointments Fill Up As Phase 1B Starts Next Week Slow

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Governor Pritzker and Chicago area doctors are hopeful the Biden administration will ramp up the COVID-19 vaccine supply.

Many are seeing doses run out quickly as appointments fill up. CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports on how they are handling the supply and demand.

Each doctor CBS 2 spoke to said they are using every dose and that nothing is wasted. But the limited supply has led to some confusion for patients and providers.

As Chicago’s top doc got her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, the message for the hundreds of thousands waiting is patience.

“We are hearing that we are not likely to see significant increases in how much vaccine probably for the next three weeks,” said Doctor Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

That’s the understanding as the Biden administration takes over. Right now, Chicago continues to receive 34,000 doses a week.

Next Monday, the slow rollout of Phase 1B starts. Those eligible are people above the age of 64 and essential workers. Your primary care physician, pharmacy, vaccination site or employer are the main ways to get the shot.

Each by appointment.

“As soon as appointments become open, they get filled,” said Doctor Rachel Rubin of the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Cook County Public Health is working with 91 vaccination sites. Its focus is getting shots to the older population who also have essential jobs. But the rate depends on shipments from the state.

“And I can’t even give you an amount. It really varies from week to week,” said Rubin.

The state’s vaccine portal showed almost half of its doses are unused. The state tells CBS 2 this data is lagging and localities are giving more shots almost every day.

DuPage County is quickly using up its weekly 13,000 doses.

“Trying to match exactly the number of appointments or the number of doses you have, there’s just not enough predictability to that yet,” said Chris Hoff with the DuPage County Health Department.

Which can result in appointment frustrations for some like Elmhurst resident Jim Henry. His pharmacy scheduled an appointment for him and his wife that was canceled, the nrescheduled for next Monday. They received the call on Thursday.

“Until it’s in our arms, we’re  still keeping our fingers crossed,” Henry said.

Each locality that CBS 2 spoke to said it was going to make an aggressive approach of putting the COVID vaccine information online.

Also From CBS Chicago:

Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony

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