New Des Plaines COVID-19 immunization site to use single-dose vaccine

  • McKesson Corp. employees scan a box of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while filling an order Monday in Kentucky. The new mass-vaccination site in Des Plaines will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    McKesson Corp. employees scan a box of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while filling an order Monday in Kentucky. The new mass-vaccination site in Des Plaines will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/4/2021 6:37 AM

A new mass vaccination site opening in Des Plaines later this week will be the first location in the state to use the new single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to inoculate residents, health care and essential workers.

"This is the first large-scale vaccination site to use it," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday at a news conference from the facility at 1155 E. Oakton St., which once housed a Kmart store. "That means we can more quickly get the vaccine into the arms of residents, and protect our communities and loved ones."

 

State officials announced Tuesday that 83,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be shipped to Illinois later this week.

Besides the benefit of a single dose, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not require extreme cold storage, allowing it to be transported with greater ease. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines currently in use each require two doses and specialized cold storage.

"All three are highly effective vaccines that can save lives," said Israel Rocha Jr., CEO for the Cook County Public Health Department. "But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it will be much easier to bring the vaccine to community settings, to pop-up sites, allowing us to reach more individuals where they live and where they work, for their ease and convenience."

People can start booking appointments for the new site at 1 p.m. today by visiting vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling (833) 308-1988.

The site will serve Cook County residents in Phase 1A and 1B, which includes health care personnel, residents of long-term care facilities, people 65 and older, police, teachers and other essential workers.

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It is initially expected to vaccinate nearly 2,000 people a day, but it has the potential to provide 3,500 shots daily, officials said.

State health officials are hopeful the new Des Plaines site will help speed up inoculations statewide.

On Wednesday, Illinois Department of Public Health records showed 82,449 more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have gone into the arms of Illinois residents and workers. That brings the state's inoculation total to 2,900,341.

Health officials report 906,490 residents and workers in Illinois have been fully vaccinated, while 1,993,851 have received at least one dose.

Over the past two days, the state has received 652,820 new doses of vaccines, according to state health department figures.

Meanwhile, state health officials also reported 44 more COVID-19 deaths and 2,104 new cases Wednesday. The state's death toll from the respiratory disease stands at 20,626, while 1,191,520 have been infected with the virus since the outset of the pandemic, IDPH figures show.

Statewide, hospitals reported treating 1,260 patients for COVID-19 infections, with 275 of them in intensive care.

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