The site, located on Oakton Street, not far from O’Hare Airport, is one of the first to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Appointments for the Des Plaines mass vaccination site can be made at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by phone at (833) 308-1988. The site will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. M. A 7 p. M.
“Today, with our grand opening, we are very excited to say that we are offering 800 immunization slots today,” said Cook County Health’s Ratna Kanumury.
RELATED: United Center’s COVID Vaccine Registry Continues with Appointments Available on Zocdoc
83-year-old Jack Alberts was thrilled when he arrived for his appointment and reflected on how difficult it has been not to see his grandchildren.
“I haven’t seen my grandchildren … sorry … in over a year and that’s a bit difficult,” he said.
Alberts, like many others, were quick to book an appointment when Cook County Health opened them on Thursday. All 18,000 spots were reserved in a matter of hours.
Jill Walsh is a nursing instructor who thought she would be administering the vaccine long before she could get it, but was lucky enough to get an appointment on the day the site opened.
“I was going to wait for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and I didn’t expect to receive it until this summer, so when it became available locally, I was excited,” she said.
Scott Rovner felt like he won the lottery when he finally got an online slot.
“When he hit it was like, ‘Oh my God, thank God I have a date,'” Royner said. “I just had the day off, so everything went well.”
Kevin Schneider is a college student who works at McDonald’s and this weekend he will celebrate his 19th birthday as a vaccinated man.
“It’s like taking a weight off my chest, I feel so much more confident,” he said.
The new Des Plaines site is for Cook County residents only and becomes the first large-scale vaccination site in the state to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“It is a single dose vaccine that is 100 percent safe and effective in preventing death,” Kanumury said.
Cook County Health says that as the site improves, it will be able to offer 2,800 spaces on any given day.
Right now, four 18-member National Guard teams are supporting the effort.
The approach is to vaccinate people 65 and older, healthcare workers, and front-line and essential personnel before opening it to the general population.
“The federal government has assured us that they will be able to supply enough vaccine to anyone who wants to get the vaccine by the end of May,” Kanumury said.
Cook County Health says they do not yet know when they will offer more appointments for this current phase. They said it will depend on vaccine shipments.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.