If you've been patiently (or otherwise) waiting for your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccinations taken care of, your chance to roll up a sleeve is here.

The State of Illinois has expanded COVID vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older as of today (Monday), although the expansion does not include Chicago. Chicago's residents will have to wait one more week until April 19th to get the vaccine in the city, but, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Chicago residents are eligible to get themselves vaccinated at suburban vaccination sites.

ABC-7 Chicago News reports that the expansion of eligibility does come with a bit of a hiccup:

Production problems at a Johnson & Johnson plant elsewhere, have led to a massive drop, of nearly 90% in the supply of J&J vaccines that the city and state will receive this week. That means patience go get that appointment will continue to be key. For parents hoping to get their 16 and 17 year olds vaccinated, only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for people under 18.

Having gone through the experience with my 85-year old Mother-in-Law (who found the experience pain-free and side-effects free) at the Sandy Hollow vaccination location, I can tell you that the National Guard along with volunteer efforts have made the process a lot easier than I imagined it would be. The people are very friendly, and they are most certainly well-organized as well as being super-efficient. Things were on time and running smoothly for both of our visits.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) does want to remind you that even though vaccine eligibility has opened up, you'll still need to make an appointment to be vaccinated. Should you need assistance in getting that done, you can call the IDPH hotline at 833-621-1284 to book an appointment.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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