The Tinley Park Convention Center will soon open as a coronavirus mass vaccination site in Illinois, state officials announced Monday.
The center, located at 18451 Convention Center Drive, is scheduled to open Tuesday as an Illinois National Guard mass vaccination site in Cook County, according to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Pritzker, joined by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, toured the new site Monday, as the state entered Phase 1B of its vaccine rollout, opening up doses to millions of residents.
“Widespread vaccination sites will allow us to quickly and efficiently get these life-saving vaccine doses to Illinoisans as more federal shipments of vaccine come online,” Pritzker said in a statement. “The Illinois National Guard and the Illinois Department of Public Health are proud to partner with Cook County to launch the Tinley Park Convention Center Vaccination Site – our seventh collaboration in Cook County overall, with many more to come across the state."
Appointments are required, according to the village of Tinley Park, which said appointments can only be made through the state and county websites. They can be scheduled via Cook County's newly-launched vaccine website, or by calling (833) 308-1988.
“This first large site in the Southland is indicative of our commitment to distribute vaccine equitably, but we fully expect that demand will quickly outpace supply," Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health, said in a statement. "It is critical for people to understand that while we are anxious to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated, vaccine supply remains the biggest limiting factor. We are asking Cook County residents for their continued patience as we work to ramp up one of the largest County-operated vaccine programs in the country."
County officials expect to be able to administer up to 3,000 vaccines per day "when the Tinley Park site is fully optimized and when adequate vaccine is available."
Cook County said it plans to open at least five additional large sites across the suburbs in the coming weeks, but those will be dependent on vaccine availability.
Phase 1B, which began Monday, opened up vaccinations to people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers," which includes first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers and more.
In addition to the Tinley Park site, several Walgreens and Jewel-Osco locations also began vaccinations or opened up appointments for Illinois residents eligible under Phase 1B of the state's vaccine rollout.
In addition, Illinois' Department of Public Health also launched a site for eligible residents to find vaccine events and make appointments.
The governor said current vaccination sites in the state are available by appointment only, but that the state plans to launch walk-in locations in the coming weeks.
"As the federal supply of vaccines increases and Illinois receives more vaccine, the state will launch walk-in locations and expand sites to additional providers like doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics," the governor's office said in a release Monday. "More information about those locations will be released in the coming weeks."
For a complete look at how to make an appointment or receive vaccine information for your area, click here.