Week of March 15, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ - Skokie Health and Human Services Department
For the week of March 15, the Village will offer both first- and second-dose clinics, although vaccine supply still remains limited. The Village is following the State of Illinois phased approach to administering vaccine, offering first-doses to individuals in Phases 1A and 1B, including healthcare workers, frontline essential workers and Skokie residents age 65 and older. Vaccine availability is expected to continue to increase later in March, with both first- and second-dose clinics being offered. There are currently more than 30,000 people pre-registered in the Village’s COVID-19 vaccine database and, as of Friday, March 12, 2021, the Village had administered approximately 12,000 doses of vaccine. More details on vaccine supply below.
The lack of vaccine being shipped to the Village continues to be the greatest barrier to vaccinating Skokie residents at a faster pace.
Skokie residents age 16 and over who live in the 60076, 60077 and 60203 zip code areas are encouraged to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination from the Village of Skokie. By completing this form, you are indicating that you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and will be contacted by the Village as soon as it is available to you. Please pre-register each member of your household age 16 and over. (See information below on the new addition of 16- and 17-year-olds to the pre-registration database.)
Vaccinations are being given by appointment only, and more than 30,000 Skokie residents are currently pre-registered. Due to the high demand for vaccinations and the inadequate supply of vaccine, it could take weeks or months until you receive an invitation to make a vaccination appointment.
Village of Skokie COVID-19 Vaccination Process
1. Pre-register with the Village of Skokie. Every household member age 16 and over is encouraged to pre-register. Note: You will not receive a confirmation email from the Village after pre-registering.
Click here to access the COVID-19 pre-registration portal.
2. Await notification from the Village. Please be patient. With more than 30,000 individuals pre-registered in the Village system, it may take many weeks or months before you are notified. Based on the information you provide, the Village will notify you via the email address provided when the vaccine is available to you based on your priority group (State of Illinois vaccination phase), the order in which you pre-registered (first-in, first-served), and, most importantly, the amount of available vaccine. The email will come from email@example.com; to date, the invitation emails are being issued late in the week for the following week’s scheduled vaccine clinics. The Village is currently vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, including seniors age 65 and older, healthcare workers and some essential workers.
3. Register for your first vaccine dose. The notification email will include a link to register for an appointment to receive your first dose of the vaccine. Upon completing the registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the details of your appointment and a ticket to present for admission.
4. Receive your first vaccine dose. Please do not arrive more than five minutes before your appointment. Please bring a current, state-issued photo ID showing proof of Skokie residency. Be sure to wear short sleeves and a mask. If you work at a Skokie healthcare provider, please bring a work ID or documentation of employment.
5. While you are at the Village’s clinic for your first dose, you will make the appointment for your second dose. While at a Village of Skokie clinic receiving their first dose of vaccine, individuals will be able to make an appointment for their second dose while at the clinic either on their smartphone, tablet or at one of several available computer kiosks. Village staff or volunteers will be able to assist with the process and/or to answer questions about securing appointments. Those who cannot make their second-dose appointment on site will receive the information needed to make the appointment at a later time. Residents who need assistance after leaving the clinic should email COVID19@skokie.org or call the Village’s COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 847/779-7726.
6. Receive your second vaccine dose. Please do not arrive more than five minutes before your appointment. Please bring a current, state-issued photo ID showing proof of Skokie residency. Be sure to wear short sleeves and a mask. If you for a Skokie healthcare provider, please bring a work ID or documentation of employment.
Q: What is the status of Skokie’s COVID-19 vaccine supply?
- As of Friday, March 12, 2021, the Village had administered approximately 12,000 doses of vaccine. In addition, some 300 doses were given to the federally qualified health centers serving Skokie, and an additional 3,750 doses were sent directly to NorthShore University HealthSystem.
- The Village is administering vaccine as quickly as the vaccine is being supplied by the State of Illinois. The Village’s priority is to utilize all received vaccine weekly to vaccinate residents as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- To date, the Village’s supply of vaccine continues to be limited in quantity, not allowing the Village to offer clinics up to our clinic’s capacity. Vaccine allotments from the State of Illinois to the Village of Skokie are expected to increase and when they do, the Village is prepared to offer more frequent clinic dates and expand clinic times.
- As vaccine supply allows, the Village will continue to offer first-and second-dose clinics, with second doses prioritized if vaccine supply becomes insufficient.
- Skokie residents can explore securing vaccination appointments at private providers in the area, including Walgreens, Jewel-Osco and area hospitals. Search for area vaccination sites.
- Inadequate supply of vaccines remains the single largest barrier to vaccinating Skokie residents at a faster pace.
The good news is that the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases in Skokie has decreased since November 18, 2020, along with hospitalizations. The Village’s current positivity rate is 2.17 percent, by contrast to a January 13, 2021 positivity rate of 5.9 percent. Please continue to practice the 3 Ws to protect yourself and your family: Wear a mask, Watch your distance and Wash your hands.
Q: Can Skokie residents make appointments at the United Center’s mass vaccination site?
A: When appointments for the United Center site were initially launched in early March, they were open to Illinois residents over 65 years of age. After a few days, the site was restricted to City of Chicago residents only, although officials have reported that appointments made by individuals outside of Chicago before the new residency restriction was imposed will be honored. Check back for updates regarding relaxed residency restrictions as might occur in the future.
Q: What about the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine that only requires one shot?
A: The upcoming availability of the newly-authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine (also called the Janssen vaccine) is good news in the effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose to be effective. According to information released from the National Institute of Health on February 27:
“The Janssen vaccine is a very welcome addition to the arsenal of COVID-19 vaccines and other prevention strategies. When tested among 45,000 volunteers, the single-injection vaccine proved 77 percent effective in preventing severe/critical COVID-19 occurring at least 14 days after vaccination and 85 percent effective in preventing severe/critical COVID-19 occurring at least 28 days after vaccination….Importantly, the vaccine was 100 percent effective in protecting against death from the disease everywhere it was tested.
See more information on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Q: How do I remove my name from the Village’s pre-registration database? I received a vaccine at Walgreens or another site this week, and want to remove my name from the Village database so that someone else can have my turn.
A: Please click here to remove your name from the Village’s COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration database. Thank you!
Q: I thought Skokie was only accepting pre-registrations from residents age 18 and over. Why did that change to include 16- and 17-year-olds?
A: In the coming weeks, the Village might begin administering the Pfizer vaccine in addition to the Moderna vaccine currently being offered. Residents will not have a choice in the type of vaccine they receive. If Pfizer vaccine is introduced at Village clinics, residents 16 and 17 years of age also will be able to pre-register for a vaccine, as Pfizer is indicated for individuals those ages.
Q: I heard Phase 1B has expanded. Will Skokie follow this guidance?
A: Until vaccine supply increases, the Village of Skokie will not be expanding to the Phase 1B+ group recently announced by the Governor that includes individuals who are 16 to 64 years of age with co-morbidities and underlying conditions, as well as individuals with disabilities. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for transitioning between phases, the Village of Skokie will look to move in to the Phase 1B+ group when the vaccine supply increases significantly, when most persons within the current phase are vaccinated (more than 60 to 70 percent) or when demand in the current phase is less than vaccination available.
In coming weeks, the Village will issue an email survey from firstname.lastname@example.org to all individuals currently pre-registered in Phase 1C to determine if they have an underlying health condition that qualifies them to move to Phase 1B+.
With the Village’s pre-registration database already containing more than 20,000 individuals as belonging in Phase 1B, and with the current shortage of vaccine supplies, those qualifying for vaccination Phase 1B can still expect to wait weeks or months before receiving an invitation to make a vaccination appointment with the Village. The lack of vaccine being shipped to the Village continues to be the greatest barrier to vaccinating Skokie residents at a faster pace.
Pre-Registration and Vaccine Appointment Communication Information
Q: I pre-registered with the Village and have not received an email invitation to make an appointment. When will I receive one?
A: If you or your loved one have pre-registered with the Village in the 1B or later phases and have not received an email, know you are still in the system and will receive a future email inviting you to make an appointment for a vaccination. With more than 30,000 individuals currently pre-registered with the Village, you might not be notified for weeks or months. Expect an email from email@example.com with the appointment link.
There are three factors that determine when pre-registered Skokie residents receive the invitation to make a vaccination appointment:
- Their priority group in the set phases established by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Skokie is currently vaccinating individuals in Phase 1A and 1B.
- Click here for more information about Phase 1A.
- Click here for more information about Phase 1B.
- The order in which they pre-registered with the Village of Skokie (first-in, first-served).
- The amount of available vaccine. To date, Skokie is receiving hundreds of doses each week, not thousands of doses as requested.
If a resident forgets or misses their opportunity to register for the actual vaccine appointment, the Village will continue to send them notifications for future available vaccine clinics.
The availability of vaccine will continue to be the single most important factor in how soon residents can be vaccinated.
Q: I received an email from the Village inviting me to register for a COVID-19 vaccine, but I was not able to reply in time to secure an appointment. Do I lose my place in line?
A: No, you will not lose your place in line. Email invitations will continue to include residents who missed earlier email invitations. If you are unable to make an appointment when you receive the initial email, please watch for similar emails in the following weeks. Vaccination clinic appointments are being sent based on the order in which individuals pre-registered their priority group and when vaccine supplies are received - which is unpredictable.
Q: How is the Village allocating COVID-19 vaccinations?
A: The Village is following the guidelines of the Illinois Department of Public Health and will be providing free vaccinations in a multi-phased approach. For more information on these phases, click here. The Village will move to new phases as sufficient doses of the COVID-19 vaccine become available.
Q: When I pre-register for a Skokie vaccine, will I receive an email confirmation?
A: No, you will not receive an email confirmation. When you complete the survey, a box should pop-up indicating that you have successfully completed the survey.
Q: On what day of the week is the Village sending vaccination appointment invitation emails?
A: At present, vaccination appointment emails are being issued from firstname.lastname@example.org later in the week for vaccine clinics scheduled for the following week.
Q: Are vaccine appointments being prioritized based on age or other health issues?
A: No, vaccine priorities are not being given outside of the set phases as provided by the State of Illinois. To view the phases please visit https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-faq and/or https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccination-plan.
Q: As a Skokie resident, why can't I register in Cook County's COVID-19 database?
A: While most of Skokie's neighboring communities are served by the Cook County Department of Public Health (127 total municipalities and 2.5 million residents served in total by Cook County), Skokie residents are served by the state-certified Skokie Health and Human Services Department. As such, the Cook County Department of Public Health is not allowing Skokie residents to register in the Cook County COVID-19 vaccination database. In turn, Skokie is not allowing residents of any other community or municipality to pre-register for vaccinations through the Village of Skokie, with Skokie's clinics only available to Skokie residents and certain essential workers, like healthcare workers and teachers, who work in the community.
COVID-19 vaccine allocated to the State of Illinois by the Federal Government is divided among all of the health departments equally in the State based on population, including the Skokie Health and Human Services Department. All health departments in Illinois are experiencing the same vaccine shortage as Skokie is right now, but we are expecting vaccine supply to increase over the next several weeks. When this occurs, the Skokie Health and Human Services Department will resume vaccinating thousands of Skokie residents each week at our local conveniently located vaccine clinic. Skokie residents can explore securing vaccination appointments at private providers in the area, including Walgreens, Jewel-Osco and area hospitals. Search for area vaccination sites.
Q: I do not have a computer or email address. How will I be notified when vaccination appointments become available?
A: Due to the extreme levels of calls and appointments being made, the Village is encouraging residents to provide an email address when they pre-register. If you do not have a computer or an email address, we ask that you find a family member, friend or neighbor to help you pre-register online and to help make an appointment when they are available. If you do not have anyone to help you, please call the Skokie COVID-19 Hotline at 847-779-7726 to pre-register with your name, address and phone number and you will be notified when an appointment is available.
Q: How is Skokie getting the word out about COVID-19 vaccinations to residents without access to computers?
A: An informational postcard was mailed to all Skokie homes in the 60076, 60077 and 60203 zip codes in late January/early February with information on pre-registration for the benefit of residents without internet access. The March/April edition of NewSkokie, the Village newsletter, will arrive in homes during the first week in March with additional information for those without computer access.
See the Village of Skokie COVID-19 postcard.
See the March/April edition of NewSkokie.
Q: Does the Village have more than one vaccination clinic location?
A: At present, there are no plans to add additional vaccine sites in Skokie. The current clinic at 7770 Frontage Road has sufficient capacity to serve a large number of residents efficiently while also adhering to social distancing measures for safety. It is completely accessible, and has a large parking lot with a good supply of handicapped parking near the main entrance.
Q: I heard that if I just show up at Skokie’s clinic at the end of the day, I might be able to get a vaccination because of no-shows. Is this true?
A: NO! Vaccinations will be administered by appointment only, and individuals who come to Skokie’s clinic without an appointment will be turned away without receiving a vaccine.
Q: When did Skokie begin vaccinating residents and others in Phase 1B identified by the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health?
A: In late January, the Village began providing vaccinations to Skokie residents age 65 and older and essential workers, and continued vaccination of Skokie residents who are healthcare workers that qualify under Phase 1A.
Q: Is it true that someone recently shared a link to the Village of Skokie vaccination clinic reservation system and that a lot of people got appointments without waiting their turn?
A: Unfortunately, a few individuals who were trusted with the vaccination appointment link, and were told not to share it with anyone, shared it anyway and the link ended up on social media. The hundreds of appointments made with the unauthorized link were canceled. While the Village knows that everyone is anxious about the vaccine and that many individuals who made appointments with the shared link did not realize they were 'jumping the line', all of the appointments made with the shared link were canceled. This was done in fairness to the tens of thousands of other Skokie residents who have pre-registered for a COVID-19 vaccine and are patiently, and likely anxiously, waiting their turn.
Q: I have registered to receive a vaccine through my health provider or other health departments, should I cancel my pre-registration with Skokie?
A: No, you do not need to cancel your pre-registration with the Village if you sign-up to receive the vaccine elsewhere. When the Village sends out the appointment email for your phase, you can disregard if you have already received the vaccine.
Q: What’s the best way for me to stay informed of the Village’s overall COVID-19 vaccination plans?
A: The best place to get up-to-date information is the Village’s website, www.skokie.org. Important information is posted in the “Featured Announcements’ section of the home page, and also on the COVID-19 webpage. Please also subscribe to SkokieNews, the Village’s electronic newsletter that is issued every Tuesday afternoon and more frequently when there is important information for the community.
Second Dose Information
Q: How can I be sure that I will be able to get an appointment for my second dose of vaccine from the Village?
A: Individuals receiving their first dose of vaccine will be able to make an appointment for their second dose while at the clinic either on their smartphone, tablet or at one of several available computer kiosks. Village staff or volunteers will be able to assist with the process and/or to answer questions about securing appointments. This new process, which uses a unique voucher code for each person, guarantees a second-dose appointment.
Those who cannot make their second-dose appointment on site will receive the information needed to make the appointment at a later time. Residents who need assistance after leaving the clinic should email COVID19@skokie.org or call the Village’s COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 847/779-7726.
Q: I am a Skokie resident and already received my first dose of vaccine from another medical provider. Can I get my second dose from the Village of Skokie?
A: Residents are advised to try to secure their second dose from the same medical provider that administered their first dose. If this is not possible, please email the Skokie COVID-19 email hotline.
Changing or Transferring a Vaccination Appointment
Q: Can I give my scheduled appointment to one of my colleagues or more vulnerable family members?
A: No. Appointments slots will only be held for the individuals who register and are able to produce proof of Skokie residency or employment at a Skokie healthcare provider.
Q: I made an appointment for a vaccine but need to change it or I want to cancel. How can I do this?
A: Appointments can be canceled by calling Health and Human Services at 847/933-8252. Due to the demand for vaccines, changing an appointment date or time is not an option at this time.
Required Identification for Skokie Residents and Healthcare Workers at Skokie Healthcare Providers
Q: What kind of ID is required?
A: A state-issued photo ID with a Skokie address is required. Absent this, a state-issued photo ID along with a current utility bill or lease document with a Skokie address and that person’s name will suffice. Skokie residents under age 65 that are essential workers qualifying for a vaccination in group 1B also should be prepared with proof of employment. Healthcare workers who are not Skokie residents but work for a Skokie healthcare provider must also bring proof of employment in Skokie.
Other Questions About Qualifying for a COVID-19 Vaccine from the Village of Skokie
Q: I don't live in Skokie but am an essential worker at a Skokie business, and I think that I fall into category 1B or 1C. Do I qualify for a vaccine through the Skokie Health and Human Services Department?
A: No. Except for a few exceptions, only Skokie residents with proof of residency can get vaccinated at a Skokie Health and Human Services vaccination clinic. Exceptions include healthcare employees that work at a Skokie healthcare provider, daycare workers that work at a Skokie licensed daycare or educators that work at Skokie schools. All other non-Skokie resident essential workers that work at Skokie businesses should contact the health department for the community in which they live http://www.idph.state.il.us/LHDMap/HealthRegions.aspx, or ask their employer or healthcare professional about other options for receiving the vaccine.
Q: What about caregivers who are coming into the homes of Skokie residents?
A: If they live outside Skokie, they are not eligible. If they work for a healthcare provider located in Skokie, then they do qualify.
Q: I heard on the news that teachers at Skokie schools received the vaccine first. Why is that?
A: After extensive planning, the Health and Human Services Department opted to begin smaller, controlled vaccination clinics during late January 2021 where pre-identified control groups including healthcare workers at Skokie healthcare providers and educators at Skokie schools would be vaccinated first. These two groups fall within the CDC and IDPH designated initial priority groups for vaccine distribution. These initial controlled clinics allowed the Health and Human Services Department to ensure future vaccine clinics are managed efficiently, prior to opening larger clinics to Skokie residents. The Village’s vaccine allotment from the State of Illinois will increase, as vaccine is more readily available and larger and more frequent Village-run vaccine clinics will continue for Skokie residents.
Q: I heard that the Village gave a lot of its vaccine to Skokie Hospital. Is that true?
A: The Village’s first shipment of vaccine in mid-December 2020 was shipped directly to Northshore University Healthcare, where it was used to vaccinate Phase 1A healthcare workers. This was arranged through the Illinois Department of Public Health. Soon thereafter, Skokie Health and Human Services started receiving vaccine that has been administered through the Health and Human Services Department at the Village’s clinic.
Transportation Options to Skokie’s COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
Q: I don’t drive or am homebound. Will the Village come to my home to give me the vaccine?
A: The Village will not be providing in-home appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. You will need to make arrangements with a ride-share service, taxi, neighbor or friend to bring you to a clinic, or contact your physician for other options. Below you will find links for information about RTA para-transit service (if you are income-eligible) and a few private, fee-based special transit services.