A total of 110,000 citations have been made available to the United Center’s mass vaccination site. First appointments opened at 8:30 am Thursday for seniors. After the Senior Enrollment Period, anyone eligible for a vaccine as part of the Phase 1B + group can begin scheduling appointments at 4 pm on Sunday, March 7.
To register for an appointment at the United Center, visit www.zocdoc.com/vaccine or call the multilingual hotline (312) 746-4835 from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday and from 8 am to 4 pm on Sunday .
“I think it is a fairer system to put all availability in one place, rather than having hidden pockets where you need to work with the system or your connections,” said Oliver Kharraz, founder and CEO of Zocdoc.
Gabriel Alavara drove from Prospect Heights to the United Center site. He came to find a number to call to secure a spot for when the site opens next week. You have diabetes and cholesterol problems.
“I am working with good will and I am afraid because everyone has the second and I need the first,” said Alavara.
At 8:30 am, Zocdoc was up and running for seniors 65 and older to schedule their first shot at the United Center. Alavara called the multilingual hotline 200 times with no luck.
He tried to make an appointment at Zocdoc, which sent him in circles and left him frustrated.
“I don’t know what happened here in Chicago right now, but I’m looking for someone to help me,” he said.
Several people came to the United Center who were confused by all the information from the last weeks and days.
Ferry Jordan thought she had an appointment and could get vaccinated on Thursday, and showed up only to be turned down.
“But it’s okay with all this mass vaccination,” Jordan said. “I can understand that. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but you ask questions and keep trying 46:26
Zocdoc expects all 110,000 vaccination appointments at UC to be booked by Thursday, with an estimated demand at 300 bookings per minute, or more than 18,000 per hour.
“I think there is a good chance that the 110,000 will disappear,” Kharraz said. “I think there is still much more demand for the vaccine than supply.”
ABC 7 has learned that a portion of those appointments, up to 19%, will be dedicated to the call center. But some wish the system did more to target communities of color.
“A weighted lottery system,” suggested Dr. Marina Del Rios, Vaccine Corp Partnership. “Or at least have a list of priority people. If you’re in these particular zip codes and in these particular communities, then you get the first data.”
SEE | Des Plaines Mass Vaccination Center to Open Thursday
Housed in a former K-Mart store, the new mass vaccination site in Des Plaines is one of the largest, if not the largest, in the Northwest suburbs. It opens on Thursday and officials hope to begin vaccinations on Friday or Saturday for people in Phase 1B.
Appointments for the Des Plaines Mass Vaccination Site can be made beginning Thursday at 1 pm 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.
Other public officials joined Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle as she toured this new location at 1155 East Oakton Street in Des Plaines on Wednesday.
The National Guard-supported site will be the first in Cook County to use the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The county expects 18,000 doses of J&J to arrive from the federal government on Thursday. The goal is to vaccinate up to 3,500 people per day.
“Because Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose vaccine, patients don’t have to worry about scheduling a second appointment,” said Israel Rocha, Jr., CEO of Cook County Health. “That is an advantage that we can have to make sure that we can actually see more people through places like today.”
“We will continue to ask for patience in this vaccination process. As we know, the supply of vaccines has been limited and, although it is improving, we still cannot keep up with the demand,” Preckwinkle said.
This Des Plaines site is the fourth large-scale vaccination center in suburban Cook County, and joins facilities in Tinley Park, River Grove, and South Holland. That is in addition to sites supported by the National Guard at various Cook County health centers.
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