File Photo – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Lake and McHenry counties — along with the rest of the state — expanded COVID-19 vaccination eligibility today to include all residents 16 and older.

“Lake County will open eligibility with the state to all 16+ as of April 12, 2021. However, vaccine supply is still anticipated to be limited next week, so it will take time for everyone to get an appointment,” Lake County Health Department Spokeswoman Hannah Goering said.

Goering said the health department urges all Lake County residents to sign up at allvax.lakecohealth.org in order to be notified when an appointment is available to them.

The McHenry County Department of Health also confirmed last week in a statement that they would also be opening eligibility to McHenry County residents 16 and older on April 12.

“We have made great progress in getting residents vaccinated since we received our first doses at the end of December, and we are excited to be opening appointments to everyone age 16 and older,” said MCDH Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson.

“This expansion moves us closer to the goal of getting all eligible residents vaccinated as quickly as possible to help protect our community and loved ones from a potentially deadly virus,” Adamson said.

Residents in McHenry County are encouraged to sign up through the state’s COVID-19 vaccine registration page at covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov.

Health officials from both counties say that residents who are now eligible may not be able to find an appointment right away but more and more appointments are opening every day.

Governor J.B. Pritzker set April 12 as the date for vaccine eligibility to open to all residents back, ahead of President Biden’s April 19 deadline. Chicago will not follow Pritzker’s April 12 date, and will instead follow the April 19 deadline.

The state said they will deliver more than a quarter of a million doses this week to Cook and county sites open to all Illinois residents on top of tens of thousands of newly available appointments at hospitals, local county sites, and other mass vaccination sites throughout the region.

To date, 75% of Illinois seniors and 45% of Illinoisans 16 and over have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. One-quarter of the 16 and older population is fully vaccinated.

“Weeks ago, we set our sights on April 12 as the date for every county receiving vaccine from the state to open to full eligibility, and I’m so proud that all 101 counties and Suburban Cook have met that timeline,” Pritzker said last week.