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COOK COUNTY, Ill. – Thousands of vaccine appointments in Cook County were snatched up within hours of release.

The news comes after the Cook County Department of Public Health opened 25,000 first-dose vaccine appointments Sunday amid rising case numbers statewide and across the country. Health officials say in less than two hours, residents booked all vaccine appointments.

That’s a rate of 240 appointments per minute.

The appointments were for the Pfizer vaccine. Doses were distributed to Cook County’s four distribution sites: Des Plaines, Forest Park, South Suburban and Triton College.

The appointments opened to those classified as Phase 1A, Phase 1B, Phase 1B+ and Phase 1C. Proof of eligibility was required.

On Sunday, the state reported 2,250 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths. The city’s case positivity rate this week is up to 3.6% – a 0.7% increase over last week.

Mayor Lightfoot released a statement, saying in part, “Folks, please remember: COVID-19 has not left us. We have to continue to be vigilant, wear masks, wash our hands, and keep our distance.”

City officials add that one in four Chicagoans have already received their first shot. Nearly one in two seniors have also received the dose. Health officials say they’re hoping those statistics will increase with a new wave of vaccinations.

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