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United Center limits vaccinations to only Chicagoans after majority of appointments made by those outside the city
Sunday, March 07, 2021 Chicago Tribune by Morgan Greene
Guidance on who can register for the United Center mass vaccination site is changing to focus on Chicagoans after the majority of early appointments were made by those who live outside the city, officials said Sunday.
In a shift announced by officials citing guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make vaccine distribution more equitable and reach communities most vulnerable to the coronavirus, appointments on Zocdoc will be restricted to Chicagoans.
Since registration for the United Center site began Thursday, more than 40,000 seniors booked appointments, according to a Sunday news release, and those appointments will be honored. But fewer than 40% of the appointments were made by Chicago residents.
As of 4 p.m. Sunday, residents outside Cook County were no longer eligible for appointments at the site.
For those in suburban Cook County, there will be United Center appointments available, but the county will announce that registration process in the coming days, according to the news release.
For Chicagoans, appointments were open to those who are 65 or older and those 18 and older with underlying health conditions. Appointments can be made by visiting www.zocdoc.com/vaccine or calling 312-746-4835.
There will also be appointments allocated for Chicago residents who live in communities deemed particularly vulnerable or those with low vaccination rates. Officials said more information on eligible ZIP codes and registration details would be announced later this week. Additional appointment blocks will also go to community organizations as part of a targeted outreach effort.
Mobile vaccination teams will be sent outside Cook County with some remaining doses, officials said. More information on the 18 mass vaccination sites throughout the state is available at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
Morgan Greene is a metro reporter for the Chicago Tribune who covers human interest stories, breaking news, the park district and everything in between. A Cleveland native, she graduated from the Theatre School at DePaul University, joined the Tribune in 2015 as an editorial assistant and still enjoys seeing a good show on a night off.