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COVID-19 Vaccination Update

February 18, 2021

Arlington Heights resident and proud WWII vet Mr. James Ostler (101) received his first dose of the vaccine this week. Congratulations Mr. Ostler and thank you for your service!

NCH has now completed our first three weeks of vaccinating NCH patients in the State of Illinois Phase 1b category – those over the age of 65. At NCH we have nearly 100,000 patients over the age of 65.  We are limited in how many vaccines we can administer based on what is available to us from public health agencies, and we expect that it will take quite some time to vaccinate this large population.

Our overarching goal is to vaccinate every person in our community who wishes to be vaccinated, following the phases and guidelines set by the CDC and public health agencies.  To achieve this goal efficiently and safely, we have begun by vaccinating NCH patients 65 and older who are active in our system — meaning they have been seen by any physician in our health system or used any NCH services in the last two years.

Invitations to schedule a vaccine appointment are sent by email from our patient portal MyChart.  Here’s how to make sure you are ready to be vaccinated when it is your turn:

  • If you have a NCH MyChart account, make sure your notifications are turned on so that you will receive emails.   
  • If you don’t have a MyChart account, visit NCH.org/MyChart and follow the instructions to create one.
  • If you have a loved one who is unable or unsure about using MyChart, visit this help page to learn more about Proxy Access so that you may assist them. 
  • For all information related to the NCH vaccination process, please visit our vaccine webpage
Mary Rabs, R.N. (right) gives James Ostler his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines are by appointment only, and we ask that you do not call your physician’s office or the hospital to try to schedule the vaccine. Because the population we are vaccinating right now is so large, invitations to schedule an appointment are distributed in batches based on the number of doses we have and so as to not overwhelm the system.

Patients are being contacted by last name – in a randomized order. Our schedules are created to service the appropriate number of patients at a time and to be efficient with the supply of vaccine we have on hand that day.

Setting up and running the NCH Vaccine Clinic has been the hard work of hundreds of employees and dedicated volunteers. Since we began vaccinating healthcare workers in late December, we have vaccinated nearly 10,000 individuals.

We sincerely thank you for your patience as we continue this essential process to vaccinate our community.  We are all in this together.  And please remember that we are not out of it yet:  while the COVID-19 vaccine is a significant advance, we all must still adhere to the key safety practices and wear face masks, wash our hands frequently, maintain physical distance and avoid large gatherings. Stay safe.

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