United Center COVID vaccine appointments designated to 5 Chicago zip codes

Unfilled COVID vaccine appointments at the United Center are being held for five Chicago zip codes to help with equity.

Video Transcript

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO: Well Stacey, you know, a delayed start for a second day this morning making some a bit irritated, but things are moving along now, and the site is now fully open. More early confusion this morning as people with appointments waited almost an hour before getting checked in for vaccinations at the United Center, many of them over 65. Today marks the mega sites full opening after yesterday's soft opening. Cyndy Colantoni says most of her friends have already been vaccinated.

CYNDY COLANTONI: I mean, all my friends, everybody. I felt like I was like the lonely little lamb out in the field not drinking anything, but I know there are a lot of people like me.

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO: Jeff Ginex got his shot at the UC today, but last night he got a message saying he canceled his appointment. However, he never did, so he came out this morning anyway.

JEFF GINEX: You know, everything is goofed up now. You know, you just roll with the punches.

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO: The federally run mass vaccination site now becomes the biggest site in the state, with the goal of giving 6,000 shots per day. However, confusion continues as thousands of appointments remain open but are not available to be booked. Jim Hubler is getting his shot today, and while the eligibility guidelines keep shifting, he's cutting government officials some slack.

JIM HUBLER: I'm frustrated, but I also appreciate the magnitude of the problem and the fact, it's the first time that they're doing it. There's issues of getting the vaccine.

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO: As for the thousands of appointments that remain open and unavailable, Chicago and Cook County officials say they're conducting targeted outreach in five zip codes on the near West and South sides to prioritize those residents and ensure equity. Meanwhile, some sharing what being vaccinated will now mean for them.

- To live on. To live on. I'm a cancer survivor, so this helps a lot.

JESSICA D'ONOFRIO: Now city officials say there will be ways to sign up in the future. They're asking people to stay tuned for the details as they continue to tweak the booking process.