CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’ve been trying and failing to get an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, Cook County Health is now accepting walk-ins at its Tinley Park and Matteson mass vaccination sites.
CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe tells you what you need to know.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Showers By Daybreak
You have until Saturday evening to take advantage of this pilot program.
It means you can walk through the doors at the Tinley Park site at 18451 Convention Center Drive, or the Matteson site at 4647 Promenade Way – no appointments necessary – and get a vaccine.
“It’s just a huge hassle trying to look for appointments. I spent about an hour looking for appointments until I said, ‘You know what? I’ll spend that hour driving instead,’” said Katarzyna Gamaj, who drove from Gurnee to Tinley Park on Thursday to get her shot.
She said getting a COVID vaccine is that important.
“We just want this to be over. If we can get our shots as quickly as possible, that’s our best bet. That’s what we’re going to go for,” she said.
It’s now easy, too, thanks to Cook County Health’s walk-in pilot program
“It is real convenient. This way I don’t have to walk around an appointment schedule or anything like that,” Jerry Roma said.READ MORE: Oak Lawn Woman Got Locked Out Of Her Facebook Business Account, And Even Facebook Can't Be Sure If The Email To Blame Was A Scam
For those who are hesitant about getting the vaccine, Rosetta Perkins said, “it is really a good deal for us, because to make the appointment you’ve got to sit and think, ‘Should I make the appointment? Because I don’t want to cancel.’”
The Tinley Park mass vaccination site is administering the Moderna vaccine, which requires a second dose four weeks after your first. The Matteson mass vaccination site is giving out the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a second dose after three weeks.
Both sites are open for walk-in vaccinations from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. You’ll need a photo ID to register on-site.
Anyone who is 16 or 17 years old who wants to get the vaccine will have to go to the Matteson mass vaccination site, as only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds. Those young people must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get a shot.
Gamaj, who was one of the first people in line on Thursday in Tinley Park, sees the vaccine as one giant step to normalcy.
“I think everybody should get vaccinated. We can turn this just into a regular flu if everybody takes it seriously,” she said.
Again, this is just a pilot program. It ends this Saturday. Cook County Health said it might extend the program, depending on how the next few days go.
You can still make appointments for a vaccine online at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling 833-308-1988, Monday – Friday from 7AM – 10PM and Saturday from 8AM – 10PM.MORE NEWS: They Had A Tough Year Of E-Learning, But Southland College Prep Seniors Have Now Racked Up More Than $50 Million In Combined Merit Scholarships