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United Center Mass Vaccination Site Will Soon Switch To Drive-Thru-Only

The United Center will soon stop giving vaccination shots to walk-through visitors.

The United Center drive-thru vaccination site in the Near West Side on March 23, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The United Center mass vaccination site will soon turn into a drive-thru-only spot, Chicago’s top doctor said Tuesday.

The site has been vaccinating people on foot and in cars, and it recently started accepting walk-ups with no appointments. But the site is run by the federal government — and their engagement is scheduled to end soon, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday news conference.

This will be the last week for walk-in appointments for people who want to get Pfizer shots, Arwady said. Starting Tuesday, the site will only use the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and then only for a week.

Then, no more first doses will be given at the United Center’s walk-through portion, Arwady said. The team will stay there to give people their second doses of Pfizer, though.

But the city will bring back the site’s drive-thru May 8, giving people Johnson & Johnson shots, Arwady said. The drive-thru could stay around if it proves popular.

“… If we see good uptake, we are planning to continue the United Center only as a drive-in site” likely through June, Arwady said.

City data shows 1,876,041 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans, and 2,040,123 doses have been administered in the city overall. About 43 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot, while 28.5 percent have completed their vaccination. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, about 65.1 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 53.8 percent have finished their vaccination.

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