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Story Publication logo April 8, 2021

Here’s How To Get Vaccinated In Chicago and Illinois

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Image by Manuel Martinez / WBEZ. United States, 2020.
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Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has killed more than twice as many Black Chicagoans as...

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United Center mass vaccination site
The United Center’s tented vaccination site is shown in Chicago on March 8. Image by Manuel Martinez/WBEZ. United States, 2021.

This story is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

If you’re confused about how to schedule an appointment, you’re not alone. The process has been opaque, and securing an appointment has been difficult for many. On April 12, Illinois will move to universal eligibility for adult residents, which promises to unleash a new surge of demand even as the supply of doses to the state increases weekly. Chicago plans to follow suit on April 19, in response to President Biden’s recent request to states.

So, where to start?

To help, WBEZ has assembled a list of registration websites for vaccination locations statewide, organized by proximity to Chicago. Unless noted otherwise, all sites shown here offer appointments to any vaccine-eligible Illinois resident. Anecdotally, we’ve heard that calling for an appointment at a mass vaccination site has been faster than booking online through Zocdoc.

We’ll update this story frequently so check back.

City of Chicago

Although hospitals and pharmacies in Chicago are vaccinating nonresidents, Chicago’s public health department with Mayor Lori Lightfoot are limiting access to city-run mass vaccination sites primarily to residents.

  • Chicago State University: City residents who live in certain ZIP codes can get vaccination appointments at the South Side college campus (Emil & Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center, 9501 S. King Drive). Run by Howard Brown Health and CORE, the site is only open to people who live in 60617, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60628, 60633, 60636, 60643, 60649, 60655 and 60827. Appointments are required; register here or call 312-746-4835. The Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine is being administered at CSU.
  • Wrigley Field: Inside the Gallagher Way Conference Center next to the ballpark, Advocate Aurora is running a mass vaccination site open only to city residents. Appointments are required; register via Zocdoc.com/vaccine or call 312-746-4835. The Pfizer vaccine is being administered and will require a second dose appointment at this site.
  • United Center: Chicago residents who are 65 and older or who live in certain ZIP codes are being prioritized for appointments at this federally-run site on the West Side. Appointments are required: Chicago residents can schedule via Zocdoc.com/vaccine; to book by phone, call 312-746-4835 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Some appointments are available for Cook County residents, and those can be booked by calling 833-308-1988 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Union members: The Chicago Federation of Labor is partnering with the city to vaccinate more than 1,000 union members a day. All members of unions under the CFL umbrella qualify, even if you live outside the city, and can schedule appointments online.

Chicago region

Cook County operates a handful of smaller vaccination sites designed to target certain populations. According to the governor’s office, on April 12 these sites will open to all Illinois residents 16 and older. Register online or call 833-308-1988 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday) for an appointment:

  • Arlington Heights: Arlington Heights Health Center (3250 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights)
  • Blue Island: Blue Island Health Center (12757 S. Western Ave., Blue Island)
  • Cicero: Morton East School Base Clinic (2423 S. Austin Blvd., Cicero)
  • Ford Heights: Cottage Grove Health Center (1645 Cottage Grove Ave., Ford Heights)
  • North Riverside: North Riverside Health Center (1800 S. Harlem Ave., North Riverside)
  • Robbins: Robbins Health Center (13450 S. Kedzie Ave., Robbins)

These five state-run mass vaccination sites, located in Cook County, are currently open to any eligible Illinois resident. Register online or call 833-308-1988 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday) for an appointment:

  • Des Plaines: Former K-Mart (1155 E. Oakton St., Des Plaines)
  • Forest Park: Former HOBO (7600 Roosevelt Road, Forest Park)
  • River Grove: Triton College (2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove)
  • South Holland: South Suburban College (15800 State St., South Holland)
  • Tinley Park: Tinley Park Convention Center (18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park)

DeKalb County: Register online.

  • DeKalb: NIU Convocation Center (1525 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb)

DuPage County: Register online.

  • Wheaton: DuPage County Fairgrounds, Building 1 (2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton)

Kane County: Register online or call 855-452-6382.

  • Aurora: Former Carson’s (970 N. Lake St., Aurora)
  • Batavia: Former Sam’s Club (501 N. Randall Road, Batavia)

Lake County: Register online.

  • Grayslake: Lake County Fairgrounds (1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake)
  • Waukegan: Community Based Testing Center (102 W. Water St., Waukegan)

Downstate

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office has created a web-based tool to search for vaccination locations near you. However, the tool doesn’t provide eligibility requirements.

All vaccine-eligible Illinois residents can use the Illinois Department of Public Health’s online registration website to book an appointment at one of these state-run mass vaccination sites. In the list below, we’ve included links to individual health department websites in counties that have already moved to vaccinating all adults; scheduling directly through them may be your fastest route.

  • Belleville: Belle-Clair Fairgrounds (200 S. Belt E #2650, Belleville). Appointments must be made through the St. Clair County Health Department; schedule online or call 618-825-4447.
  • Bloomington: Grossinger Motors Arena (101 S. Madison St., Bloomington)
  • Carbondale: Banterra Center (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
  • Carbondale: Carbondale Civic Center (200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale)
  • Collinsville: The Gateway Convention Center (1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville). Schedule an appointment online or call 618-650-8445.
  • DanvilleDanville Community College (2000 E. Main St., Danville)
  • Danville: Vermilion Regional Airport (22633 N. Bowman Avenue, Danville)
  • Joliet: Former Toys ‘R’ Us (3128 Voyager Lane, Joliet)
  • Morris: Shabbona Middle School (725 School St., Morris)
  • Milan: Camden Centre (2701 First St. E., Milan)
  • Quincy: Oakley Lindsey Center (300 Civic Center Plaza, Quincy)
  • Rockford: In Rockford, an old K-Mart in Winnebago County has been recast as a vaccination site. Schedule an appointment online (click on “Step 1: Register For COVID-19 Vaccine”) or call 815-720-4000.
  • Springfield: The Illinois State Fairgrounds (Orr Building, Springfield). Book an appointment for this location through the Sangamon County Health Department or by calling 217-210-8801.
  • Woodstock: Former K-Mart (1900 N. Richmond Ave., Woodstock)

Pharmacies

Pharmacies within national or regional drug and grocery stores will let you search for open appointments at all participating locations, and many eligible Chicagoans report having luck finding open slots this way. Each pharmacy has its own requirements for proof of identity, so read your appointment instructions carefully. Required identification may include a work or state ID, proof of employment, consent forms, confirmation emails and/or your insurance information.

Hospitals, clinics and private-practice physicians

Since vaccines are in limited supply, many hospitals and smaller health-care facilities — including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, UChicago Medicine, AMITA Health and Oak Street Health — are notifying eligible patients directly and do not offer a sign-up process. Some private-practice physicians have vaccines, too, so ask yours.

Although most hospitals are only vaccinating patients right now, a few have opened their supply to the public. For example, Rush University Medical Center will vaccinate people outside of its patient population who meet these criteria; go online to schedule a vaccination at Rush or call 888-352-7874.

There are many more hospitals offering vaccination statewide. Search for locations in your city.

Finally, urgent care clinics — such as Physicians Immediate Care — also have limited vaccine supplies.

Vivian McCall is a freelance reporter for WBEZ.


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