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No United Center Vaccine Doses Are Being Wasted, Top Doc Says After Misinformation Spreads

"No vaccine is going to waste at the United Center or anywhere in Chicago. And, yes, we are at capacity at the United Center," Dr. Allison Arwady said.

A 101st Airborne Division member checks a person's temperature at the United Center mass vaccination site in the Near West Side neighborhood on March 9, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — All coronavirus vaccination appointments at the United Center are being filled — and doses are not being wasted there, the city’s health chief said Wednesday.

False rumors have spread on social media that appointments at the mass vaccination site are going unfilled or officials are throwing out doses of vaccine because there aren’t enough people showing up for shots.

Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said those rumors are completely untrue.

“No vaccine is going to waste at the United Center or anywhere in Chicago. And, yes, we are at capacity at the United Center,” Arwady said at a Wednesday news conference. “We are booking up to 5,700 appointments per day right now, and we are doing more than 5,600 appointments of those — yesterday, for example.”

The center is capable of doing up to 6,000 vaccinations per day, but officials have only opened up to 5,700 appoints per day so far, Arwady said. That’s partly because the site’s drive-thru will open next week, increasing the number of doses that will need to be administered.

The site opened last week and is expected to be open for at least eight weeks. By the end, officials hope to administer 360,000 vaccine doses there.

“Every vaccine is being used,” Arwady said. “There is no vaccine going to waste. Eligibility has not changed there.”

It’s not clear where the rumors have come from, as many people who have gotten shots at the site have reported there are long lines of people coming in for their appointments — but the line moves fast and efficiently.

Arwady said virtually no vaccine has been wasted anywhere in Chicago.

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