As coronavirus cases climb among young adults in Illinois, fueling the increase in cases statewide, health officials are taking action to encourage all college students to get vaccinated.
Starting this weekend, state-supported mass vaccination sites will host “College Vaccination Days,” with appointments available specifically for college and university students.
“Our young adults have a key role to play in bringing this pandemic to an end, and I’m proud to make it easier for our community college and private university students to get access to these lifesaving vaccines,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “Getting vaccinated is about protecting yourself, but it’s also about protecting your professors, your parents, your peers, campus staff, and the greater community you call home.”
According to officials, cases among 18- to 24-year-olds have doubled over the past month.
“College campuses are microcosms of the communities in which they are located, and if we see an increase in cases on campus, we will see an increase in cases in the community,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.
With the rise in COVID-19 variants and hospitalizations, “we need to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible,” Ezike said.
IDPH is partnering with colleges and universities which will have the links where students can register for appointments, according to officials.
Appointments will be available Saturday at the Oakley Linsey Center, 300 Civic Center Plaza in Quincy.
On Sunday, appointments will be available at the following locations:
— the former Carson Pirie Scott in Aurora, 970 North Lake St.;
— Elgin Eastside Recreation Center, 1800 E. Chicago St. in Elgin;
— the former Sam’s Club in Batvia, 501 N. Randall Blvd.;
— the Gateway Convention Center, 1 Gateway Drive in Collinsville;
— the Illinois State Fairgrounds; 801 E. Sangamon Ave. in Springfield;
— the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds; 200 S. Belt East in Belleville;
— the former K-Mart in Rockford; 1321 Sandy Hollow Road.
On Monday, appointments will be available at the following locations:
— the Arlington Heights Health Center, 3250 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights;
— the former K-Mart in Des Plaines, 1155 E. Oakton St.;
— the former HOBO in Forest Park, 7600 Roosevelt Road;
— the former Target in Matteson, 4647 Promenade Way;
— South Suburban College, 15800 State St. in South Holland;
— Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Drive in Tinley Park;
— Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. in River Grove.
On Tuesday, appointments will be available at the following locations:
— the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road in Wheaton;
— Shabbona Middle School, 725 School St. in Morris;
— Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road in Grayslake;
— the former Toys R Us in Joliet; 3128 Voyager Lane.
Mass vaccination sites in DeKalb, McDonough and McLean counties will continue to provide vaccinations to students as part of the state’s Rapid Response Vaccination Teams that are deployed to areas that are seeing increasing cases, according to officials.
All mass vaccination sites will be administering either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, according to officials. Health officials stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this week while federal officials reviewed data involving six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who got the one-dose vaccine.