United Center to host federal mass vaccination site

Vaccine appointments for the United Center site will open on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. for seniors to sign up for appointments.

Video Transcript

ERIC HORNG: The site will be open to all eligible Illinois residents, not just Chicagoans, and seniors will get to make the first appointment. But when will those sign-ups begin?

For the next several days, from sun up to sundown. Crews will work to transform this United Center parking lot.

JB PRITZKER: Things are getting better. Some day not too far from now we'll be at the United Center, not for a lifesaving shot, but for a game winning shot.

ERIC HORNG: The federally funded site will open March 10th and operate seven days a week for at least eight weeks, with the goal of administering 6,000 daily doses. That's in addition to the current state and city allocation.

KEVIN SLIGH SR: The United Center will be a federally supported, state managed and locally executed evolution.

ERIC HORNG: Appointments will be made through the online platform Zocdoc. And officials say they'll announce soon when that will begin. The UC will service all eligible Illinois residents, but there will be an early sign up period for people 65 and older. Afterward, others in phase 1B plus can schedule appointments, including people younger than 65 with serious health conditions.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: Let's call this our SOS moment, support our seniors.

We need to get them there. And we need to get them vaccinated.

ERIC HORNG: The arena itself will not be utilized. Instead, shots will be given in Parking Lot E, northeast of the arena.

BRIAN SCHILLER: All of the infrastructure will work on that side through a tent city, ensuring that we can get folks out of any elements.

ERIC HORNG: Officials say people will walk up to get their shots. They can park in one of the other lots or ride by public transit. And the city is partnering with Uber to provide free rides.