CHICAGO (CBS)– The United Center COVID-19 mass vaccination site in now open.
The first vaccine doses were given out 9 a.m. Lines started to form around 7 a.m.READ MORE: Two Simeon High School Students, Both 15, Killed In Shootings Four Hours Apart
The United Center has been transformed into the state’s largest mass-vaccination site, with sprawling tents capable of up to 6,000 shots per day.
Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday, the vaccines given at the United Center will help “build on our current state average of more than 90,000 shots put in arms, every day.”
We already see several people waiting in line at the @UnitedCenter to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gates don’t open until 9am…by appointment only.
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) March 9, 2021READ MORE: Chicago Weather: High Waves, Dangerous Conditions Along Lakefront
The city says from check-in to vaccination, people should expect about 45 minutes. The entrance is in Lot E at Wood and Madison streets.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said appointments will be set aside for residents who live in “high COVID community vulnerability index neighborhood zip codes” and zip codes with low vaccination rates.
“In order for us to truly rise and recover from this pandemic, we knew that we had to continue to push vaccines to residents that need it most, especially those 65 and older, as fast as humanly possible,” Lightfoot said. “That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that starting today the United Center vaccine site is officially open.”
The vaccine site is walk-through only for at least the next two weeks. There will be on-site parking, but people are encouraged to get dropped off or take public transit if they can.
Lightfoot said the site was designed with “disability in mind.” She said the new site is fully accessible so that anyone with a disability can get a vaccine in comfort.
Last week, President Biden said that he believes that every American adult who wants a vaccine will be able to receive one by the end of May. Believe me, I look forward to that day,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Tuesday. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in our vaccination programs and have enjoyed visiting the sites around the county.”MORE NEWS: Englewood Semi-Truck Driver Found Crushed Between His Truck And Trailer
Pritzker said Illinois has administered more than 3.4 million doses of the vaccine residents, including at least the first dose to nearly one in five residents. He said cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have fallen far below the winter peak and the Illinois statewide positivity rate is at an all time low.