Massive vaccination center in Round Lake Beach has hundreds of appointments available
The COVID-19 vaccination site at the old Kmart in Round Lake Beach has delivered slightly more than 2,600 doses since opening last Tuesday, far from its current capacity. Officials say available appointments are going unfilled.
The vaccination site, which officials have said ultimately will have the capability to provide vaccines to 5,000 people per day, is a collaboration between the Lake County Health Department, the Deerfield-based Baxter health care company, and Curative, a startup formed in early 2020 that distributes COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
The site is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and has the capacity for 900 appointments per day.
Henna Manjee of Curative said the first week went well but noted plenty of appointments are available. As of Wednesday afternoon, the website Curative set up for the Round Lake Beach location listed more than 700 open appointments each day Thursday through Sunday.
"We are hoping more people come out and get vaccinated," Manjee said.
Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister said other vaccination sites in the county also have open appointment slots. Pfister said the county's goal is an 80% vaccination rate, but, according to the latest data, only 27.66% of residents are fully vaccinated.
Manjee emphasized that people don't have to make an appointment to get a free dose of vaccine.
"We are trying to eliminate wasted doses at the end of the day," Manjee said. "We do get a surge in the after-work and after-school hours and we are happy to have people in that window as well."
Those who have received their first dose elsewhere and are finding it hard to find a second dose are encouraged to stop by the Round Lake Beach site. Manjee said they can be accommodated so long as they bring the CDC card they received after their first dose.
"We're hoping next week we'll be getting at least 1,000 (visitors) per day," Manjee said.
People can make an appointment at cur.tv/lakeco. Lake County officials have also encouraged people to use the county's Allvax portal at allvax.lakecohealth.org. The vaccination site is at 400 E. Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach.