CHICAGO – Monday will be the last day for walk-thru vaccine distribution at the United Center as demand for shots dwindles.
While drive-thru appointments will still be available, the United Center mass vaccination site has gone from crowded to sparse in less than three months. Health officials said many remain hesitant to commit to the vaccine.
Chicago resident Bryan Villasenor told WGN he was originally on the fence about getting the shot.
“If anything, I wasn’t so sure. I was a little nervous to get my vaccine at first. I think I smartened up and just got my second dose,” Villasenor said.
Now, after getting his second shot at the United Center’s mass vaccination site, Villasenor says he is looking forward to unmasking. He adds that he plans to convince others to follow.
“I definitely have a lot of friends and family who are on the fence, and I’m trying to get them to do it too so that if they want it to be over with, it’s the best thing to do at this point,” he said.
Yet, demand for vaccines has dropped, with long lines and large turnout all but gone.
“At this space, there were around maybe 30 people on the inside there, 30, if that many,” Aubrey McCullough told WGN.
Thus, Monday will be the last day for the walk-thru option at the United Center. The FEMA-supported site has helped administer nearly 300,000 doses of the COVID19 vaccine. According to the CDC, more than 60% of people over 18 have received at least one shot. In Illinois, more than five million residents have been fully vaccinated which is just less than 50%.
There’s hope that vaccination campaigns across the country will work to prevent the spread of the virus. The seven-day average for new cases dropped below 30,000 per day this week, the lowest number in 11 months.
Villasenor says he felt a drop in vaccine demand would come.
“Honestly, from the beginning, I thought they would,”he said. “But if anything, right now, drive-thrus and your local clinics should be good to go, from now on, especially in the city for now.”
The final day for the drive-thru portion here at the United Center site will be one month later on June 24.