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style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">The U.S. government has announced the country’s fifth mass vaccination site will be located in Illinois.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense will be responsible for running the site at the United Center in Chicago with a focus on vaccinating elderly and minority populations. The scheduled opening is March 10.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker expects to be able to inoculate 6,000 people a day, all of which will be provided directly by the federal government and not taken out of Illinois' or Chicago's allotment.
"All of our state’s residents will have access to the United Center, which will be open to expanded Phase 1B-plus populations, that includes high-risk conditions,” Pritzker said.
The site will be by appointment only, according to a statement from Governor Pritzker’s office, and seniors will have first access to appointments before the site opens.
If any appointments are still available after seniors had had their exclusive registration period, any remaining slots will be open to all Illinoisans eligible under the state’s vaccination guidelines.
Officials said the United Center vaccination site, located in the parking lot, will operate seven days a week for eight weeks.
Information about how and where to make appointments will be available in the coming days. Demand is anticipated to be high, but Pritzker said all the available appointment slots at other federal sites were not filled.
“This another example of how we will not stop until we get shots into the arms of our residents, who continue to wait patiently to see the light at the end of this pandemic,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.