The DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton will open as a mass vaccination site Wednesday as the county's vaccine clinic relocates to the fairgrounds to expand capacity.
At least 1,000 people were scheduled to receive vaccinations at the location on its first day of opening, and the site aims to vaccinate as many as 5,000 people per week, when supplies allows, officials said.
The county hopes the new site, located at 2015 Manchester Rd., will offer "a convenient, central location in the county for residents to access and a safe indoor space to protect the staff, volunteers, and residents receiving the vaccine from the winter elements."
The DuPage County Health Department's Community Vaccination Clinic will operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only.
Anyone without access to the internet, a computer, or who needs support with registering for vaccine, including language assistance, can call the Health Department at (630) 682-7400, DCHD said.
Despite the increasing capacity for vaccinations, county health officials urged patience, noting that vaccinations will be limited to supply.
For a complete look at where and how you can make a vaccine appointment in Illinois or to receive vaccine information for your area, click here.
According to the DCHD, more than 100,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered to residents, and 2.88% of its residents have received both doses of the vaccine. Those numbers lead all the collar counties surrounding Chicago, according to DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.
“If you are frustrated or afraid, wondering when or how you’ll be vaccinated, I want you to know your DuPage County leaders are working furiously to bring more vaccine to this county and get you vaccinated as fast as we possibly can,” he said.
The health department noted that it has partnered with nearly 100 healthcare providers for vaccinations, but of those, only 42 are currently receiving doses "due to the limited supply."
“We are very fortunate to have a robust network of healthcare providers in DuPage County who are committed to administering vaccine as soon as it is available,” Karen Ayala, executive director of DuPage County Health Department, said in a statement. “When doses arrive, they do not sit in freezers for extended periods of time. Appointments are opened, links to schedule an appointment are sent, and doses are administered into the arms of those in the eligible groups.”
Officials urged residents, even those who are vaccinated, to continue following public health measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.