United Center Mass COVID vaccination site to close Thursday – NBC Chicago


The United Center’s mass COVID vaccination ends, Thursday being its last day of vaccine administration as Chicago shifts its vaccination strategy from major sites to a more hyperlocal focus.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady and CRPD Deputy Commissioner Christopher Shields announced the shutdown during a live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday morning.

“This week is the last week for the United Center,” Arwady said during a discussion of the city’s overall preparedness and its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the effort to set up the vaccination site mass to the CPU.

“United Center this Thursday 24 will provide their last vaccination and then we will return the property,” Shields replied.

“Again, I can’t thank the United Center and all the partners enough who, you know, this really central location, it really exceeded my expectations, I think, in terms of people coming from all over town as one. of our fixed PODs, ”said Arwady,“ PODs ”meaning“ distribution points ”for administering vaccines.

Arwady and Shields said Tuesday that the United Center site, which opened on March 9, administered more than 301,000 doses of the vaccine.

City health officials highlighted accessibility features of the site that they say made it a success, noting that the site has taken into consideration comments calling for a drive-thru option as well as accessibility for people with disabilities and on-site translators.

About 62,000 of the vaccine doses administered were for those using translators, which equates to about one in five vaccines.

Arwady noted that Chicago is moving away from larger, fixed mass vaccination sites in its strategy in favor of a more “hyperlocal” approach to target populations that have not yet been vaccinated.

But, she noted, “You can still get a free vaccine through the United Center, we have Pfizer and J&J. The last day for the drive-thru is Thursday, of course, if you get your first dose, we will need to send you for your second dose elsewhere.

“We’ll have availability at Malcolm X or you can get it on your own,” she added, calling UC a “huge part” of the city’s immunization strategy.

The United Center mass immunization site opened on March 9 as part of a federal pilot program and managed by a coalition of federal, state and local officials.

Originally scheduled to be open for eight weeks, the site will have remained open for more than 15 weeks when it closes.

The site operated seven days a week and had the capacity to deliver 6,000 injections per day at full capacity, officials said, with the initial doses provided by the federal government being separate from the city or town’s vaccine allocation. the State of Illinois.

Chicago officials said on Wednesday that the city had become one of the first nationwide to “extend its equity strategy to mass vaccination sites,” by first offering appointments to local residents. most affected by COVID-19.

As a result, about 45% of Chicago residents vaccinated at the United Center were black or Latinx, the city said.

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