UofC Begins Phase 1b Vaccine Rollout, Eyes End of March to Start 1c

The vaccine will be made available to University-affiliated essential frontline workers, current UChicago Medicine patients, and faculty and staff 65 or older. There are only two windows for this population to get vaccinated.


The University of Chicago Medical Center

By Caroline Kubzansky and Matthew Lee

The University of Chicago will begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines to members of the University community who are essential frontline workers, current UChicago Medicine (UCM) patients, or age 65 or older, per an email from Provost Ka Yee C. Lee sent Monday morning.

The email is also the first indication of the University’s plan to open a vaccination clinic to facilitate vaccinations in the phases 1c and 2 of the rollout. The vaccine available at the UChicago clinic was developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and requires two doses to be maximally effective at preventing the disease. 

Eligible University members in phase 1b include teachers at the University of Chicago Charter and Lab Schools, faculty and staff, including emeriti faculty, older than 65, and individuals who have been patients of the UCM in the past 18 months who are 65 and older. Those people may also be contacted through MyChart to make a vaccination appointment.

To receive a vaccine, eligible individuals will need to sign up for an appointment before the close of business hours on January 29.

Patients can opt to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on either January 31 or February 7. Second doses will be administered on February 21 and February 28.

These are the only times for University affiliates over 65, N-12 Education employees, or University patients 65 and older to be vaccinated during phase 1b at the University clinic. If they do not sign up for a dose this week, they will need to seek an alternative vaccine distribution site or wait until later phases of the vaccine rollout.

This vaccine distribution is consistent with Chicago’s Phase 1b, which began today. Vaccinations will be provided at no cost to the recipient, but insurance will be billed, according to the email.

During Phase 1c, projected to begin March 31, the vaccine will be made available for all other essential workers as well as Chicagoans aged 16–64 with underlying medical conditions. The University plans to open its own vaccination clinic during phase 1c.

General population University affiliates—those between 16 and 65 who are not front-line workers nor have medical conditions that could complicate a case of COVID-19—can expect to receive a vaccine through a University clinic during phase 2, which the city projects will begin May 31.