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United Center Chicago
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chicago is turning the United Center into a mass vaccination site

Beginning on March 10, the site will administer up to 6,000 doses per day.

By
Zach Long
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UPDATE (March 2): Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that all Illinois residents ages 65 and up will be able to begin registering for vaccine appointments at the United Center on Thursday, March 4 at 8:30am. Appointments can be made through Zocdoc or by calling the city's multi-lingual hotline at 312-746-4835.

If you qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine, you may be able to get your shot just outside of the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks in the coming weeks. This morning, Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a variety of city and state officials to announce that the parking lots surrounding the United Center will become Chicago's first mass vaccination site, beginning on March 10. The site will be open seven days a week and will be able to administer up to 6,000 shots per day, dependent on the available supply.

The United Center mass vaccination site will be open to appointments for anyone in Illinois who currently qualifies for the vaccine. And instead of eating into the current supplies of vaccines allotted to the state and the city, the mass vaccination site will bring in additional doses, above and beyond the regular allocations.

It's unclear how Illinois residents will be able to sign up for appointments at the mass vaccination site, though it's possible that it could be included in Chicago's Zocdoc scheduling platform. Pritzker stated that there will be an advance sign-up period for Illinois residents ages 65 and older, giving them exclusive first access to appointments at the mass vaccination site. Those who schedule an appointment will be able to drive or walk-up to receive their shot.

According to statistics cited by Pritzker, Illinois expects to receive at least 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. The state has administered 2.5 million doses thus far and about 1 in 7 Illinoisans have received their first doses of a vaccine.

Chicago officials have previously floated the United Center, Wrigley Field and McCormick Place as potential mass vaccination sites in Chicago, so it's possible that additional sites could be opened if the United Center reaches capacity and vaccine supplies continue to increase as projected.

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