First doses of one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered at new site in Des Plaines

Coronavirus

DES PLAINES, Ill. The first doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Cook County were administered at a new mass vaccination site in Des Plaines Friday, continuing to expand access to vaccine doses in the area.

For 83-year-old Jack Alberts, the vaccine is more than just a shot. Alberts hasn’t seen his grandchildren in over a year, and has long awaited a key to reconnect with family and the rest of his life.

The new mass vaccination site is located at what was once a K-Mart at 1155 E Oakton Street and hopes to vaccinate up to 3,500 people a day once the site reaches full capacity.

On Friday, 800 people were inoculated at the site with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of Friday, 47 percent of Illinois residents age 65 and up have been fully vaccinated, amounting to 8 percent of the state’s population.

The site opens as Governor JB Pritzker announced a $10 million public awareness campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated on Friday.

Appointments at Des Plaines can be scheduled online or by phone at 833-308-1988.

For those that are eligible and have been unable to get an appointment scheduled anywhere yet, Mayor Lightfoot said Friday capacity will be expanded with vaccinations beginning at the United Center on March 10.

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