Sick of refreshing Zocdoc in the hopes of snagging a Covid-19 vaccine appointment? Now Chicagoans have yet another option for getting their shot: Beginning on Friday, April 23, all five of Chicago's mass vaccination sites, including the United Center, will be open for a select number of daily walk-in appointments.
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, credits an uptick in vaccine supply for the new development, which is meant to serve Chicagoans who haven't been able to easily obtain an appointment online or using the city's hotline.
"We know that a lot of people are still having challenges getting appointments, and we know there are digital divides, and we know there are some people who might spur-of-the-moment say, 'Let's get a vaccine,'" Arwady said during a Q&A session on Thursday.
Still, you might not want to ditch your appointment-booking efforts just yet. Officials haven't released information about how many doses will be available per day, which leaves the potential for long lines and some degree of uncertainty as to whether you'll actually get a shot when you show up—that means securing an appointment ahead of time is still your safest bet. Arwady said the city will continue to evaluate the number of doses earmarked for walk-up distribution based on supply and demand in the coming weeks. Eventually, though, the goal is for people to be able to walk in and get a Covid-19 vaccine as easily as they might get a dose for the seasonal flu.
"We've talked a lot about how when there's finally enough availability, this is going to feel more like getting a flu shot," Arwady said. "You don't fight the crowds to get a flu shot."
Here's a complete list of the city's mass vaccination sites:
- Apostolic Faith Church, 3823 S. Indiana Ave
- Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Road
- Chicago State University, 9501 South King Drive
- United Center, 1724 W Madison
- American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way next to Wrigley Field, 1119 W Waveland Ave