While people in River Forest can register for COVID-19 vaccination information through Cook County, Oak Park residents must go through the village’s health department. The village of Oak Park’s newly launched online vaccine pre-registration form is available to be filled out on the village website.
Filling out the form does not equate to scheduling a vaccination appointment but will allow the village to collect contact information for eligible individuals and assess local demand, according to Interim Public Health Director Joseph “J.T.” Terry.
The form is intended to be filled out strictly by people who fall under Phase 1b eligibility through the state’s vaccination plan. People within that group consist of those aged 65 and over, as well as frontline essential workers such as grocery store clerks, educators, licensed daycare staff, pharmacy personnel, transit employees, postal carriers and delivery drivers.
People 65 and older who do not have access to a computer or need assistance in filling out the form are directed to contact the Senior Services Department of Oak Park Township.
Although Phase 1b includes educators, Oak Park public and private school teachers are not required to pre-register as the Oak Park Health Department is working directly with schools to schedule vaccination clinics. Teachers who live in Oak Park but teach outside of the village should fill out the pre-registration form only if their employers are not offering vaccines.
Given supply, it could take several months to vaccinate those who are eligible and want the vaccine in Phase 1b, according to Terry. The village estimates 12,000 individuals who live or work in Oak Park qualify as part of Phase 1b.
The health department is focusing on equitable vaccine distribution, according a village news release. It has concentrated its efforts under Phase 1b first on vaccinating residents of local independent congregant homes as they house individuals with disabilities and lower-income senior citizens, as well as being hotspots for infection.
The village expects to have completed first round vaccinations of congregant home residents, age 65 and over, by end of week.
Vaccination of people within that age range who do not reside in congregant homes could start as early as Feb. 4, according to the village news release. The village could start vaccinating frontline workers as early as Feb. 15.
The state does not anticipate moving into Phase 1C until spring or summer.