Cook County is launching its fifth mass COVID vaccination site in suburban Forest Park, open to all eligible Illinois residents.
The site opens to the public on Friday and is located at the former HOBO at 7600 West Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch and other county and state officials celebrated the site on Monday.
Pritzker said it will be able to administer up to 1,000 doses per day at launch and then more than 2,000 doses a day "soon after."
"With ample parking and close proximity to communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, this site will play a critical role in our continued efforts to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents, such as those with pre-existing conditions," Pritzker said.
"With this location in Forest Park, we have now strategically established three of our largest mass vaccination sites open to all eligible Illinoisans at Tinley Park in the southwest, this location in the western suburbs and Des Plaines in the northwest, meaning that our highest density Cook and collar county communities all have a convenient state-supported option for getting vaccinated," he added.
There are now five total mass vaccination sites in suburban Cook County. The other four previously opened sites are:
- The Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Drive
- South Suburban College, 15800 State St. in South Holland
- Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. in River Grove
- A former K-Mart at 1155 E Oakton St in Des Plaines
The Cook County Department of Public Health released about 12,500 first-dose appointments for those sites on Friday, all of which were booked within a few hours.
Cook County moved to Phase 1B Plus - where much of the rest of Illinois is - of COVID vaccinations on Monday. That expands eligibility to residents 16 years of age or older with specific health conditions like cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, heart conditions, immunocompromised from an organ transplant, obesity, pulmonary disease and sickle cell disease, as well as individuals with disabilities, pregnant women and smokers.
All vaccine providers in suburban Cook County have been asked to move to Phase 1B Plus beginning Monday, as have the mass vaccination sites.
The mass vaccination sites were previously only administering vaccine allocated for Cook County, but CCDPH said that beginning this week, they will receive additional vaccine supply to enable the sites to serve all eligible Illinois residents.
As such, available appointments at the five mass vaccination sites in the county moving forward will be open to all Illinois residents who are qualified to get vaccinated in Phase 1B Plus as well as in Phase 1A or the earlier iteration of Phase 1B, which largely included certain essential workers.
Future appointments can be made on the Cook County vaccine website or by calling the county's hotline at (833) 308-1988 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Pritzker on Thursday announced that all Illinois residents age 16 and older outside the city of Chicago will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine next month. The following day, he announced that more essential workers would become eligible ahead of that expansion.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.