CHICAGO (CBS) — A new mass vaccination site will open Friday in west suburban Forest Park, and officials said it will be Cook County’s largest such site once it’s fully operational.
The site will be capable of administering up to 1,000 does of COVID-19 vaccines per day when it opens on Friday at the site of a former home improvement store at 7630 Roosevelt Rd. Once fully operational, it will be able to give out up to 5,000 doses per day.READ MORE: As Jury Deliberates In R. Kelly Sex Trafficking Case, What Impact Will Verdict Have On His Future Trials In Chicago?
Gov. JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Illinois State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) and several other elected officials celebrated the plans for the new site Monday morning.
Pritzker said the site will be open to all Illinois residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine, which now includes government and higher education workers, and members of the media. Others eligible to get the vaccine in Illinois include healthcare workers, frontline essential workers, longterm care facility residents and staff, people age 65 and older, and those 16 and older with serious underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk from the virus.
“With ample parking and close proximity to communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, this site will play a critical role in our continued efforts to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents,” Pritzker said.READ MORE: Cook County Circuit Court Website Back Online, After Weeks-Long Outage Caused By Breach
Preckwinkle said, when the site is fully operational, it will be the largest mass vaccination site in suburban Cook County.
Welch and Lightford said they chose the Forest Park location to increase access to the vaccine for more vulnerable communities in the western suburbs.
“If we are going to put an end to this pandemic, and resume our regular lives, we need to prioritize the vaccine for those who are most at risk and marginalized from access to medical care,” Welch said.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Cold Front Passes Soon
Registration for a vaccination appointment at any of Cook County’s mass vaccination sites is available at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov