The Rush Is On To Get The Vaccine At The United Center

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports people getting a COVID vaccine at the United Center are giving the process mixed reviews.

Video Transcript

IRIKA SARGENT: The mad dash vaccinate Cook County residents now underway at the United Center. CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey has been tracking the progress all day. And Megan, there's still some confusion about just how many shots are left.

MEGAN HICKEY: Right. We finally got to the bottom of it after three public officials gave us three different numbers. Now we talked to plenty of people today who had a wonderful experience, but we also talked to some who were turned away.

RICCARDO AYALA: It was not easy to get the appointment. But once you get the appointment, no problem.

MEGAN HICKEY: Hegewisch resident Ricardo Ayala tells me this was the easy part.

RICCARDO AYALA: And it takes, what, 20, 25 minutes all together for us.

MEGAN HICKEY: I mean, and you got in and out before your time was even scheduled. They took you early.

RICCARDO AYALA: Right. Right.

MEGAN HICKEY: He was one of the lucky patients to get a shot on the first day of operations at the United Center mass vaccination site.

DONNA ARCHER: Everyone, go to the United Center. It's awesome.

MEGAN HICKEY: And Donna Archer is one of the suburban Cook County residents who got in before the eligibility changed Sunday afternoon.

DONNA ARCHER: The second shot is three weeks from today, which is March 30 at 1:15, the same time.

MEGAN HICKEY: So you're already booked. Second one is booked.

DONNA ARCHER: We're booked, yeah.

MEGAN HICKEY: But when it comes to just how many shots are still left, there was confusion today.

TONI PRECKWINKLE: All of the 110,000 initial appointments are already booked.

MEGAN HICKEY: All of the appointments booked? That number turned out to be wrong. Mayor Lori Lightfoot corrected the Cook County board president saying it's more like 40,000. But then Dr. Allison Arwady had a different figure.

ALLISON ARWADY: It's in the 50,000-ish range. That has been completely filled-- the 40,000 with the seniors, the additional 10,000.

MEGAN HICKEY: A portion of the leftovers will eventually be offered back up to suburban Cook County residents. But unfortunately, the city's health department says they're still formulating that plan. In the meantime, word to the wise--

PHIL ROBARE: And I don't have any paperwork because I didn't know I needed to print any out.

MEGAN HICKEY: So you were turned away?

PHIL ROBARE: So they told me you've got to go away. Yes.

MEGAN HICKEY: Was that a little bit heartbreaking after all the work you did to get this appointment?

PHIL ROBARE: That's right. It's sort of tough. I had to take off work.

MEGAN HICKEY: This Chicago resident wants to warn others to remember to bring a printout or a screenshot of your confirmation. Because without one, he'll now be starting from square one. Now we actually just got an update from that patient. He told me he was able to retrieve his confirmation, come back and get his shot today.

So a bit of good news there. Again, several patients telling us to remember to bring proof of confirmation, whether that's printed out or on your phone. Live at the United Center, Megan Hickey CBS 2 investigators.