Mass Vaccination Site Near Wrigley Field to Close Saturday, As Officials Focus on ‘Hyper-Local’ Efforts

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

After two months and 42,000 jabs, the city-run mass vaccination site near Wrigley Field will close Saturday, as efforts to bring a COVID-19 vaccine directly to residents ramp up, officials said.

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The mass vaccination site at the American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way, administered by Advocate Aurora Health and the Chicago Cubs, opened April 5, along with a mass vaccination site at Chicago State University in Roseland on the South Side.

When the site near Wrigley Field opened, officials said it had the capacity to administer approximately 2,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine daily.

Patients with appointments scheduled near Wrigley Field after Saturday have had theirs moved to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W, Wellington Ave., less than a mile from Wrigley Field.

The mass vaccination site at the United Center closed to walk-up appointments May 24. The drive-thru vaccination center will remain open until June 24, officials said.

Approximately 287,000 vaccine doses have been administered at the United Center since March 9, officials said.

Chicago Department of Public Health Officials did not respond to questions from WTTW News about how many vaccinations have been completed at Chicago State, and how much longer that facility will continue to operate.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward), a frequent critic of the mayor, said he urged city health officials not to set up a mass vaccination site at Chicago State, which he said was hard to get to for South Side residents. An average of 53 people per day are getting vaccinated there, Beale said.

Chicagoans interested in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can find an appointment or walk-in opportunity on the city’s calendar or by calling the city’s vaccine hotline at 312-746-4835.

Vaccination events will take place at parks, beaches, farmers markets, churches and food pantries as well as at popular neighborhood destinations throughout the Memorial Day weekend, officials said.

Chicagoans age 65 or older, or anyone with a disability or medical condition are eligible to have COVID-19 vaccines brought directly to their homes, and can make an arrangement by calling the city’s hotline.

Chicago officials are concentrating on vaccinating residents older than 65 as well as Black Chicagoans.

More than 70% of Chicagoans older than 65 have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 61% are fully vaccinated, according to city data. That lags vaccination efforts statewide.

More than 51% of Chicagoans have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to city data.

White Chicagoans are more likely to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 than Black or Latino Chicagoans, according to city data.

Approximately 57% of White or Asian Chicagoans have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, outpacing Black and Latino Chicagoans who are significantly more likely to contract the virus and suffer severe illness or die, according to city data through Wednesday.

Less than 35% of Black Chicagoans have gotten the first shot, while 42% of Latino Chicagoans have gotten at least one dose, according to the city’s data.

At its peak in mid-April, the city administered more than 30,000 doses of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines per day on average, according to city data. This week, the city administered approximately 6,000 doses per day, according to city data.

Part of the city’s strategy to boost vaccination rates is to send “strike teams” to workplaces as well as senior apartment complexes and wherever people are, officials said.

In addition, the city’s health department has retrofitted several city buses to administer doses of the vaccine as efficiently as possible.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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