Sunday will be a big day for those still on the hunt for the COVID vaccine, as Cook County Health plans to release approximately 25,000 appointments for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
More than a million doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered in Cook County since the treatments were first approved in December, and starting Sunday another 25,000 people will get the opportunity to put themselves in that growing group of individuals.
“I think that’s great,” said Chicago resident John DeBlasio. “I really am looking forward to breaking out of the pandemic bunker and getting this over with. It’s been great to be able to reconvene with family because you don’t feel the anxiety of COVID when people are vaccinated.”
Cook County Health said people eligible under phase 1A, 1B, and 1B+ can book their appointments through the county website to get the first shot at one of four locations: Triton College, South Suburban College, Des Plaines, and Forest Park.
“I think if you try to get online you try to get an appointment a lot of times that takes a little bit of luck and persistence,” said DeBlasio.
The process to get an appointment has been frustrating for many people, but one Michigan resident said the process was pretty smooth in her home state. She and her 94-year-old father got vaccinated earlier this year.
“I feel like I’m safe,” said Michigan resident Fay. “I know you still can get it.”
Other residents who are not old enough to get the COVID vaccine said they are ready when the time comes. Sully Krein said she wants to get the shot when it's approved.
“Probably more opportunities to do things not having to wear a mask,” she said.
The 14-year-old is visiting from Wisconsin. For now she and her friend are being extra careful while they wait for a vaccine for kids.
“Honestly just to stay safe,” said Wisconsin resident Dyonna. “If you are going to go out make sure you’re wearing a mask, social distancing just what we’ve been doing.”
Currently, vaccines are only approved for individuals aged 16 and older. Clinical trials are underway to determine whether the vaccine is safe for children younger than 16, but no approvals have been given by the FDA at this time.
While residents in Cook County are hoping to book their appointments tomorrow, one Indiana residents told NBC 5 she has no plans to get the shot in her state.
“I don’t want to get vaccinated,” said Indiana resident Susan Graham. “They have it where I work at the clinic. I’ve seen a lot of people have a lot of negative results so I just want to take my chances I guess.”
Even though she has no plans to get vaccinated, Graham said that doesn’t mean she’s letting up on the safety precautions.
“It’s a responsible thing to do for everybody around you to put your mask on, hand sanitizer and all that,” she said. “Because you don’t know we could have it we don’t know so I wouldn’t want to infect somebody else unknowingly.”
Cook County Health said some people previously part of group 1C can also book their appointments online if they work in the fields of higher education, government, media, restaurant, construction trades, and religious leaders.