Cook County closes all mass vaccination sites, shifts efforts to community approach

COOK COUNTY, Ill. – Citing a decreased demand for the coronavirus vaccine, all six of Cook County’s mass vaccination sites are now closed.

As a result, county officials are turning their focus to community efforts to convince more people to get vaccinated.

It was back in March when Cook County’s mass vaccination site opened in Des Plaines. At its peak, the center administered just under 4,000 COVID-19 shots a day. That number dropped dramatically over the last month, however.

On Wednesday, national guardsmen and staff running the site walked out to cheers and gratitude from the community for the last time.

Assistant Adjutant-General Rodney Boyd with the Illinois Army National Guard said, “This is what it’s all about. This is what truly being a guards person is all about. Working with our community members, collaborating for such an important mission.”

A similar scene unfolded at the county site in Forest Park.

“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve gotten for our mass vaccination program,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Just as Delta variant cases begin to rise, the county will use a hyper-local approach at county health facilities and pop-up vaccination events to sway the unvaccinated.

“From the first vaccine dose that was given to the very last that is needed, we will be your partners in making sure that happens,” said Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha.

In all – more than 600,000 doses were administered at Cook County’s mass vaccination sites — but county officials say there is much more work to do.

“As we look to continue to dismantle all of the inequality that exists throughout the country, it is very imperative that we have to make sure health care services are constantly available and that we’re doing everything in our power to beat out this virus and deadly disease,” said Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.

Anyone interested in getting vaccinated can do so by walking into any Cook County Health facility. Officials say no appointment is needed. 

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