COVID vaccine

More Mass Vaccination Sites Expected in Chicago and Illinois in Coming Months

The United Center won't be the only mass vaccination site opening in the near future

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The United Center won't be the only mass vaccination site opening in the near future.

The city announced Thursday that it has reached a contract deal with a health lab that will operate "new mass vaccination sites in the coming months."

Prism Health Lab, a minority-owned company, has received a $15 million contract to operate the upcoming vaccination clinic as well as city-run vaccination sites known as PODs.

Details on where the new mass vaccination sites might be located weren't immediately released, but Chicago health officials had previously said they were looking into creating mass vaccination sites at several sports stadiums once supply to the city is increased.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said earlier this month that the department also looked into hosting mass-vaccination sites at Wrigley Field and Soldier Field, but planned to wait until the city’s allotment of vaccines increases.

“We are completely ready to stand up mass vaccination sites, but it’s about vaccine,” she said during a Facebook Live.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker hinted at the possibility for additional locations in Illinois as well.

When asked if Chicago's McCormick Place could be a future site, Pritzker said "the opportunity for us to look at other locations is always open."

"But we're not looking at another federal site, at least for now," he said. "But again we're building out with our Illinois National Guard and local resources, wherever it's appropriate for us to get the most number of doses into the most number."

Friday's announcement that the United Center would become a federally-run pilot location means doses will be provided by the federal government directly, and will not come out of the city's supply.

The United Center will open as a vaccination site on March 10, officials announced, adding that the site will be able to administer 6,000 shots per day at full capacity, with priority given to seniors. All Illinois residents who qualify under Phase 1B plus of the state's plan will eventually be eligible, however.

For a look at who is eligible to be vaccinated at the United Center under Phase 1B Plus, click here.

The United Center is one of 18 "federally-established community vaccination centers" across the country that President Joe Biden's administration highlighted Friday as either recently opened or opening in the coming weeks, that will able to administer a combined total of 61,000 shots per day at full capacity.

The announcement about the United Center came one day after Illinois expanded Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, opening up eligibility to include people with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities.

While the state expanded its Phase 1B, many counties, health departments and hospital systems - including Chicago and Cook County - said they would not join the rest of Illinois in increasing eligibility, citing low vaccine supply for those who already qualify.

Previously under the earlier iteration Phase 1B, residents age 65 and over as well as essential workers qualify to receive the vaccine.

While frustration has been evident - both among residents seeking their shots as well as many government and health officials - over low vaccine supply, vaccinations have increased in recent days after being stymied by winter weather last week.

On Thursday, Illinois reported a single-day high of vaccinations across the state, with more than 130,000 doses administered in the previous 24 hours.

Nearly 2.7 million doses of the two available vaccines have been delivered to providers in Illinois, with another 445,200 doses allocated to the federal government's program for long-term care facilities. Of those, more than 2.4 million doses have been administered statewide.

Already, 15 state-run mass vaccination sites are operating in Illinois. They include:

OpensLocationAddressAppointmentMax Daily Doses @ Full Capacity
Now OpenNorth Riverside Health Center1800 S. Harlem Avenue, North Riverside ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov270
Now OpenMorton East School Base Clinic2423 S. Austin Blvd, Cicero ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov270
Now OpenRobbins Health Center13450 S. Kedzie Ave., Robbins ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov135
Now OpenCottage Grove Health Center1645 Cottage Grove Ave., Ford Heights ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov135
Now OpenBlue Island Health Center12757 S. Western Ave., Blue Island ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov270
Now OpenArlington Heights Health Center3250 N. Arlington Heights Rd. Arlington Heights ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov270
Now OpenTriton College2000 5th Ave., River Grove ILhttps://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov540
Now OpenSouth Suburban College15800 State St., South Holland IL    https://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov540
Now OpenOrr Building  Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield IL
(217) 210-8801
Now OpenBelle-Clair Fairgrounds200 S. Belt E #2650, Belleville IL  1080
Now OpenBanterra CenterSouthern Illinois University, Carbondale IL  540
Now OpenCarbondale Civic CenterCarbondale IL
Now OpenWinnebago County1321 Sandy Hollow Rd., Rockford IL    1350
Now OpenGateway Convention Center1 Gateway Drive., Collinsville IL  1350
Now OpenTinley Park18451 Convention Center Dr.      2,160
Mar 10United Center1901 W. Madison, Chicago  6000
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