CHICAGO (WLS) — The United Center mass COVID vaccination site is closing Thursday, after administering 300,000 lifesaving shots.
The site opened in March, and the need for vaccination continues.
“It’s the end of an era,” said Christopher Shields with the Chicago Department of Public Health. “You know we bled sweat tears into building up the site.”
City health officials marked a historic effort to save hundreds of thousands of lives with every shot given here 302,000 so far with the vast majority administered through walk-ups. Technology gained through the H1N1 pandemic is now helping to move vaccines to precise locations.
As we move into the future the area home program the block by block program, still using that same technology to make sure that vaccine is readily available at your house,” Shields said.
The city is now fully focused on targeted vaccine pop ups and mobile vax event after its agreement with the United Center expires July 1. That includes opening a Pfizer vaccination site at Malcom X College in just four days to finish second shot doses.
“Are we finished? No we’re not finished, but as our focus changes from macro to micro, now we’re going to the communities where you know what? I wanted to be vaccinated but I just couldn’t get to your point of dispensing site,” Shields said.
Alicia Jefferson got her second COVID shot. She said that targeted plan is the right way to go.
“That’s a great strategy,” Jefferson said. “It’s more convenient for everyone.”
The need for more shots into arms is real as the CDC says it’s more concerned about the delta variant of COVID 19.
There are 84 Delta variant cases in Illinois, according to state health officials and most of them, 70 cases, are in Chicago.
Illinois public health officials reported 258 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and eight related deaths Wednesday.
There have been 1,389,892 total COVID cases, including 23,173 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 43,928 specimens for a total of 25,535,634 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from June 17 to June 23, is 0.9%.
As of Tuesday night, 492 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those,114 patients were in the ICU and 51 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 12,288,242 vaccines have been administered in Illinois since Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 31,164. There were 27,737 vaccines administered in Illinois Tuesday.
WATCH: CDPH official on UC COVID vaccine site closing
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June 24, 2021 at 12:18PM