The Cook County Department of Public Health on Thursday launched a pilot program to deploy mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams across the suburban portions of the county.
The county will prioritize organizations serving people 65 years or older, vulnerable populations in congregate settings and essential employees with limited access to care, CCDPH said in a statement.
The county kicked off the effort at the Garden House Apartments in suburban Maywood, vaccinating 100 residents, staff and caregivers at the Housing and Urban Development-subsidized senior housing complex. All those vaccinated at the Garden House Thursday received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, officials said.
"We're meeting residents right here where they are, at their homes, to provide access to the vaccine," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at the launch.
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"Over the coming weeks and months, we are looking to bring COVID-19 vaccine into the areas where people live that have been most impacted by COVID-19," Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said, noting that the county had passed the milestone of 200,000 doses administered thus far.
"Pop-up events like this allow us to hyper-focus on vulnerable populations and fill in the gaps as we look at data to make sure that everyone is getting vaccinated and that everyone has an opportunity to be able to get their shot at the vaccine," Rocha said.
The county is in Phase 1B of its vaccine rollout plan, in which frontline essential workers residents age 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, in addition to the health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who previously qualified in Phase 1A.
The county also operates 11 mass vaccination sites for suburban residents, as well as the site at Chicago's United Center run in coordination with city, state and federal partners.
Cook County planned to open 20,000 appointments at five mass vaccination sites for suburban residents on Friday afternoon.