UPDATED: Des Plaines mass-vaccination site to open this weekend; United Center site currently available to eligible Chicagoans
DES PLAINES SITE APPOINTMENTS (Cook County site)
Starting at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 4, visit the county web site or call (833) 308-1988 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday–Friday.
UNITED CENTER APPOINTMENTS (Federal site)
Chicago residents age 65 or older can request an appointment starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 4, by visiting the website Zocdoc or calling (312) 746-4835.
If appointments remain, other eligible Chicagoans — including those with underlying conditions — can visit Zocdoc or call (312) 746-4835 at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 7.
Opportunities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine continue to increase for Chicagoland residents, including those living in New Trier Township.
Two mass vaccination sites within reach of northern suburbanites will open in the first half of March.
Cook County officials announced Wednesday, March 3, that it will operate a vaccination clinic out of a vacated Kmart store at the corner of Oakton and Lee streets (1155 E. Oakton St.) in Des Plaines.
The location opens on Friday or Saturday, March 5-6, by appointment only, and officials said it could provide 3,500 vaccination shots per day, “when adequate vaccine is available.”
Cook County residents in Phase 1a and 1b are eligible to be vaccinated. Those phases include medical professionals, first-responders, frontline workers, educators, and those age 65 and older, among others.
Appointments can be made starting at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 4. Visit vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or call (833) 308-1988 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday–Friday to schedule an appointment.
In a press release, the county said the Des Plaines site will be the first “large-scale” site in Illinois to administer the recently approved Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine.
“This is a critical time in our fight against COVID-19 and providing all three FDA approved vaccines ensures that our residents are afforded every vaccine option currently available,” County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement.
The Des Plaines clinic is the county’s fourth mass vaccination site — joining the Tinley Park Convention Center, South Suburban College and Triton College — but the first in the northern suburbs.
According to the release, Des Plaines was chosen “to ensure that Cook County is providing vaccine access in communities that were hit hard by the virus.”
Appointments also open Thursday for vaccinations at the United Center on Chicago’s west side.
The United Center site first announced it was accepting all eligible individuals, as long as they live in Illinois; however, a last-minute adjustment made the appointments only available to Chicago residents, with the possibility of suburban Chicago appointments at an undetermined time.
Cook County said appointments will be made available to suburbanites, but did not say when that may be.
More than 100,000 appointments will be open to start, and appointments already given to suburban residents will be honored.
The site will offer around 6,000 vaccine shots a day, according to the news site Block Club Chicago. The doses come directly from the federal government and will be administered in the facility’s many parking lots.
Adults age 65 or older can request an appointment at the United Center starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 4, by visiting the website Zocdoc or calling (312) 746-4835.
If appointments remain, other eligible individuals — including those with underlying conditions — can visit Zocdoc or call (312) 746-4835 at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 7.
On week ago, on Feb. 24, a vaccination site opened at New Trier High School, but with limited supply only available to frontline essential workers.
The clinic administered 571 doses on its first day.
Another 500 doses to local essential workers will be given on Friday, March 12.
Officials are still working with the county on a plan to open the site to the public, but it is yet unclear when that would be.
The Cook County Department of Public Health manages 91 vaccination sites, including through partnerships with Walgreens and Mariano’s.
Click the below map to see the locations administering vaccinations in the area.
A total of 332,295 people, or 14.6 percent of suburban Cook County, have received a COVID-19 vaccination shot in suburban Cook, according to county data.
About 125,000 residents have been inoculated, which is 5.5 percent of the suburban county population.
More than 50 percent of individuals 65 or above have received at least one dose.
The county’s northern district, which includes New Trier Township, is the most covered by the vaccine, with 17 percent of residents with at least one shot.
The positivity rate, measured on a seven-day average, in the county is 3.9 percent, while the Township is at 3.0 percent, down from 6.2 just one week ago, according to New Trier High School data.
Suburban Cook County is averaging 215 new COVID-19 cases per day, the lowest average since July 2020.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319