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Illinois launches four new COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cook County
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Chicago Tribune by Jamie Munks
Illinois residents began getting COVID-19 shots at four new mass vaccination sites in Cook County on Tuesday as the state readies for the next phase of immunizations.
Two of the sites are in the western suburbs, the North Riverside Health Center in North Riverside and Morton East Adolescent Health Center in Cicero; and two are in the south suburbs, Robbins Health Center in Robbins and Cottage Grove Health Center Ford Heights.
The four sites are being run with support from the Illinois National Guard and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office said Tuesday.
The sites are will be open to front line health care workers until Illinois officially moves into Phase 1b of its vaccination plan on Monday. That phase includes people 65 and older and front-line essential workers including public transit and grocery store employees, as well as teachers.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is also launching partnerships with large pharmacies to set up “hundreds of new sites in communities across Illinois,” according to Pritzker’s office.
Pritzker called the sites “a pivotal first step of a plan that coordinates our 97 local health departments statewide — who operate clinics already and will open up more as vaccine supply grows,” in a statement on Tuesday.
Illinois National Guard members are also deploying to other parts of the state to help set up new vaccination sites and expand existing ones.
Illinois began vaccinating front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities against COVID-19 in mid-December.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called the new vaccine sites “critical in increasing our vaccination capabilities and protecting our communities from COVID-19, as we return to normalcy.”
Jamie Munks covers Illinois government from Springfield. She’s worked at papers in Illinois, Upstate New York, Las Vegas and Memphis. She grew up in Chicago’s northwest suburbs and New England, and has dual bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from Syracuse University. In her spare time, she hikes, travels and roots for the Cubs.