In late December of 2020, New Trier High School officials floated the idea of the district’s Northfield campus being utilized as a COVID-19 vaccine distribution center.
Officials stated they had a plan in place if the Cook County Department of Public Health wished to use its facility to administer vaccine doses, but insisted it was a long shot.
Now more than five months after it was first theorized, and two months after it opened, the campus has administered “well over 10,000 vaccine doses,” New Trier officials said on April 19.
That number will only continue to grow as several first- and second-dose clinics are set to take place this week, including a fully booked vaccination day Thursday, April 22.
The site administered its first doses on Feb. 24 when 571 local essential workers — mainly teachers, police officers and municipal workers — received dose one of the COVID-19 vaccine, as previously reported by The Record.
Vaccinations for those eligible in the first three phases of the state’s vaccine rollout continued for weeks and officials recently announced a clinic that would accept all individuals ages 16 and older.
The Northfield location is made possible through a collaboration between several north-suburban organizations including the Cook County Department of Public Health, New Trier High School District 203 and a series of communities associated with emergency-management cohort Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, or MABAS, Division 3.
“It’s been a great success and a great partnership between the villages, fire departments, Cook County and retail pharmacies partners,” NTHS Associate Superintendent Chris Johnson said.
New Trier Superintendent Dr. Paul Sally said “it’s really been rewarding to be a part of” the partnership.
Johnson said the clinic has served residents from more than 80 different communities throughout the state.
“(It’s) not just people within the New Trier boundaries, it’s people within a wide variety of areas,” he said. “We’re glad to be able to serve the wider region and help this (vaccination) effort.”
The state of Illinois has administered 8.34 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of publication time, per state data.
According to the state, 3.49 million residents are fully vaccinated, a number equalling 27.4 percent of the population.
In Cook County, 1.69 million doses have been administered. Data shows that 700,429, or 28.3 percent of county residents are fully vaccinated.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.