COOK COUNTY, Ill – Cook County residents who have encountered trouble booking a vaccine appointment online may find the new walk-in option more accessible, officials hope.
At the United Center, walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccines are already underway. Additionally, two mass vaccination sites in the suburbs piloted their own program Wednesday through Saturday. Moving forward, four additional sites outside of the city are expected to welcome walk-ins.
“We piloted walk-in appointments at two mass vaccination sites this week, Matteson and Tinley Park, said Iliana Mora, Chief Operating Officer for Cook County Health. “They went great.”
With the success of the walk-in options at Matteson and Tinley Park, Cook County health officials say they feel comfortable expanding.
“Our mass vaccination at Forest Park, Des Plaines, South Suburban College and Triton College, you’ll be able to walk in at any one of our six mass vaccination sites,” Mora told WGN.
Most of the walk-in sites will offer two of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines: Moderna or Pfizer. The one-shot vaccine Johnson and Johnson could soon return to Tinley Park.
“We hope to make an announcement about that some time this week,” Mora said.
The department announced late Friday that Illinois is resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot coronavirus vaccine after U.S. health officials lifted an 11-day pause on the vaccinations. The change came after scientific advisers decided the vaccine’s benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clots.
“About 570,000 Americans have died,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday morning. “We have an effective vaccine that’s really, very, very safe. That is the reason why you want everyone to get vaccinated.”
Dr. Fauci added that taking a step back from the vaccine was necessary.
“People will realize we have taken safety very seriously,” he said. “We are out there trying to combat vaccine hesitancy that still is out there and one of the real reasons that people have hesitancy is concern about the safety of the vaccine.”