CHICAGO — Beginning Thursday, March 4 at 8:30 a.m., Illinois seniors can schedule their first COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the United Center vaccine site, which will begin to administer a limited number of vaccines on March 9, with a full opening March 10. Following this exclusive appointment period for seniors, all Illinoisans eligible under the state's Phase 1B+ will be able to schedule appointments on Sunday, March 7 at 4 p.m.
The United Center site will have the capacity to administer 6,000 doses per day, with all doses provided directly by the federal government and not taken out of state or city allotments. More than 100,000 appointments over the next three days will be available when registration opens. The vaccine will be offered at no cost, and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the federal community vaccination center. Documentation regarding immigration status is also not required.
Illinois residents have two options for making appointments: online and through a call center.
To register online, visit Zocdoc.com/vaccine. The web site is projected to handle much higher volume of appointment requests. Zocdoc will show real-time appointment availability and eligible residents will then be able to select a date/time and book an appointment online. Date of birth will be required when booking an appointment to confirm vaccine eligibility.
To register by phone, call (312) 746-4835. To help bridge the digital divide, a multi-lingual call center will be available to help seniors make an appointment. This call center will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Given the anticipated high demand for appointments, residents who can use the web site should book their appointments online. While the call center has 200 staffers, those who need to use the call center will very likely experience lengthy wait times.
The site will operate seven days a week for eight weeks under the federal government's vaccination pilot program. The facility will be managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with support from the Department of Defense, State of Illinois, Cook County and City of Chicago.
"From the beginning, we have prioritized ensuring our seniors and vulnerable populations can receive the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly and equitably as possible, and I'm thrilled the United Center vaccine site will help deliver on those core goals," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This site adds 6,000 doses per day to our growing statewide capacity and joins 15 state-supported mass vaccine sites now operating across Illinois. I'm grateful to our federal, county and city partners for their leadership and encourage our seniors and all eligible Illinoisans who have not yet been vaccinated to utilize this new site."
"The mass community vaccination site at the United Center should make us all hopeful for the future as we move forward in COVID-19 vaccine program," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. "I am grateful for the coordinated leadership of the Biden Administration, FEMA, the State of Illinois, and the City of Chicago as we stand up this new center, which will give us the necessary space and structure to administer thousands of doses of vaccine every day when our supply increases."
"Vaccinating our seniors as fast as possible is core to our ability to rise above this pandemic as a City and as a state," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "This new United Center site will significantly increase our capacity to vaccinate vulnerable Illinoisans and further ensure equitable access to the vaccine. I want to thank our partners at the state, county and federal level for making this announcement possible and I look forward to working closely with them as we continue to do everything possible to save our seniors."
The United Center site builds on an expanding network of state-supported sites operating across southern, central and northern Illinois. To find additional information about vaccine availability, including locations and eligibility, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/.
For Chicago residents, the City of Chicago is partnering with Uber to provide residents with transportation assistance to get to and from their vaccine appointments. Uber is providing 20,000 $40 ride credits to eligible residents. After a Chicago resident books an appointment via Zocdoc, they will receive an appointment confirmation email which will also ask if they need transportation to their visit. If so, they'll receive ride credits from Uber which will work only for rides to and from the United Center.