CHICAGO (CBS) — No appointment needed – suburban Cook County health leaders want you to know it will be easier than ever to get your COVID-19 shot.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported Sunday night, walk-ins are allowed at all its mass vaccination sites in the Cook County suburbs starting Monday.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 9 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
Cook County Health said it will be as easy as walking up and getting a dose. This comes as officials still said they have a good amount of people who need the shot.
The not-so-long-past days of stalking websites and refreshing tabs for COVID-19 vaccine appointments is over.
“We encourage you to take advantage of the walk-ins,” said Cook County Health Ambulatory Services Chief Operating Officer Iliana Andrea Mora.
Cook County is now offering a walk-up option at all of its mass vaccination sites starting Monday. People can register on-site.
Make sure you bring an ID with you if you’re going with the walk-in route. You’ll need to show that before you can register on-site.
The locations are spread throughout the county. Right now, they are offering Pfizer and Moderna shots.
The following lists the county’s mass vaccination sites:
- Tinley Park, 18451 Convention Center Dr. (Moderna, age 18+)
- Matteson, 4647 Promenade Way (Pfizer, age 16+)
- River Grove- Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. (Pfizer, age 16+)
- South Holland- South Suburban College, 15800 State St. (Pfizer, age 16+)
- Des Plaines, 1155 E. Oakton St. (Pfizer, age 16+)
- Forest Park, 7630 W. Roosevelt Rd. (Pfizer, age 16+)
A sign at the mass vaccination site in Forest Park still said “by appointment only” on Monday, but don’t worry about that, you no longer need an appointment to get a shot at Cook County sites.
However, a majority of the people in line Monday morning still had them, and officials have said making an appointment is still the best way to make sure you can get a shot when you show up at mass vaccination sites.
“I was scared of the vaccine, because it’s new, but it’s better to be protected than to have no protection at all,” Elizabeth Martinez said.
She said she knows first-hand why it’s important to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“My father got sick last year in November, and we almost lost him,” she said.
She was lined up for her second shot on Monday, but said the process to secure an appointment wasn’t easy, which is why she’s glad Cook County Health is cutting the red tape.
“I think it’s better, because people are still working, and they don’t have the time off to just come randomly,” she said.
Others who also already had appointments on Monday agreed.
“I think it’s great. I have no problem with it. The more people that get vaccinated, the better,” Amanda Pridmore said.READ MORE: Bo, The Obama Family Dog And 'Best Friend', Dies After Battle With Cancer
The sites at Tinley Park and Matteson have already been hosting walk-ins since last Wednesday in a pilot program.
We asked how it went.
“We learned that folks actually like it a lot,” Mora said.
The opening came with some worry about long lines, but Cook County Health’s Chief Operating Officer says it was not a problem.
“We saw pretty even traffic throughout the day,” Mora said. “Our mass-vaccination sites at Cook County Health have multiple teams of vaccinators.”
Chicago is already offering shots to walk-ins at its sites.
We spotted a steady flow of people at the United Center this weekend, and Kennedy-King College in Englewood has already started offering the Johnson & Johnson shot.
The resumption of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Chicago comes after the FDA put it on a brief pause due to rare blood clots in patients, but recently cleared it for allocation with a warning.
Cook County will not immediately offer J&J at its mass vaccination sites.
“We’re just reviewing the protocols and we hope to be able to offer it later this week,” Mora said.
It is with the goal of putting more shots in arms, as state data shows 30 percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.
Officials said about 50 percent of people have one shot.
“We still have a ways to go, and so this is just allowing easier access,” Mora said. “Hopefully, more people take advantage of it.”
Graves asked if supply will meet demand. He was told the county is in a “good place” for walk-ins.
Each site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently approved for 16 and 17-year-olds. The Pfizer vaccine is not offered at some sites. Anyone 16 or 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.MORE NEWS: Leroy Long Charged With Shooting On Dan Ryan Expressway Near 87th Street
Appointments can still be made online at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling 833-308-1988, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.