Politicians demand change to United Center vaccine procedure

Currently, blocks of appointments have been set aside for targeted outreach to what the city calls people living in high-need ZIP codes.

Video Transcript

ERIC HORNG: FEMA today defending its United Center decisions, saying it was acting in the interest of the most vulnerable Illinoisans. But in a letter, members of Congress reminding the agency that people in the suburbs need help too. The letter states, "we share and champion the goal of equitable distribution of the vaccine. Nevertheless, many of our constituents who fall in the vulnerable category felt frustrated with the recent determination to limit eligibility at the United Center."

BRAD SCHNEIDER: I want to make sure that FEMA is getting those vaccines to everyone in Chicago, in the 10th District, in every community in Illinois.

ERIC HORNG: The letter signed by 11 Illinois Democratic members of Congress.

DANNY DAVIS: There are people also in suburbian areas that are not in Chicago where there are disadvantaged communities.

ERIC HORNG: Remaining UC appointments are being directed to people in five Chicago zip codes. And in suburban Cook County, areas in the west and south will likely be targeted. The state has said FEMA has pledged mobile vaccination sites in the [INAUDIBLE] counties. But some suburban leaders say they've yet to hear anything about that.

NANCY ROTERING: There are vulnerable folks scattered everywhere. We need to do something more. And we need to do something soon.

ERIC HORNG: The mayor of Morton Grove says more local control of distribution would help with senior's transportation challenges.

DAN DIMARIA: I know I would rather have our seniors come right here to our local Village Hall or our American Legion Center.

ERIC HORNG: Those suburban mayors say seniors who don't have a car or anyone to help them have had to use public transportation to get the vaccine. And in the suburbs, that can take hours.