Vaccine teams move to office buildings to make getting COVID-19 shots easier
Major commercial buildings, including an office building in Schaumburg, soon will have COVID-19 vaccination teams on site to offer free inoculations to workers and others in the area.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that many of these vaccination teams will start later this week and early next week through a partnership with Walgreens.
So far, 10 locations have been selected -- seven in Chicago, two in Rockford and one near Woodfield Mall at the headquarters of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1061 American Lane, Schaumburg.
Vaccines will be available for anyone, and walk-ins are being encouraged.
Specific dates and times will be publicized to maximize vaccination opportunities, state health officials said. Most sites will stage clinics at shift changes so more workers can take advantage of the option.
"Work is quite literally where vaccines will be," Pritzker said at an event Monday. "Instead of facing a shortage, we now have vaccine available to anyone who wants a shot, whenever they want one. That's why we can now broaden the number and types of locations where people can get vaccinated."
Chicago locations are:
• Merchandise Mart, 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza.
• Harris Bank Building, 115 S. LaSalle St.
• 540 W. Madison St.
• Equitable Building, 401 N. Michigan Ave.
• 150 N. Riverside Plaza.
• 311 South Wacker Dr.
• Wrigley Building, 400-410 N. Michigan Ave.
Rockford locations are 308 W. State St. and 1111 S. Alpine Road.
Pritzker said any building owner or management firm interested in hosting a vaccination clinic should visit the state's registration website at dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinationclinics to apply.
"Having the vaccine available where you work makes it easier to get vaccinated," Pritzker said.
Michael Mulcrone, executive director of the Building Owners and Management Association of Suburban Chicago, said the partnership between commercial property owners and state health officials is a natural step in the state's drive to vaccinate more people.
"We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the state and to bring vaccinations directly to our tenants and our staffs," he said. "Our members have been working tirelessly to keep buildings open, clean, healthy and safe."
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike urged people who might still be hesitant to get vaccinated to talk with their doctors about their concerns. She added that getting a high percentage of people vaccinated will reduce and potentially eliminate the threat that the virus will mutate, with the potential to become more virulent or less responsive to the vaccines.
The move to set up vaccination clinics in corporate settings is the latest in the state's efforts to jump-start vaccinations. On Monday, vaccine providers statewide were averaging a little more than 81,000 a day over seven days. Last week, the seven-day average had dipped as low as 65,750 doses administered each day.
"We have been working to set up as many vaccination locations and opportunities as possible," Ezike said. "By expanding vaccination opportunities to businesses, we're hoping to make it as easy as possible for every single person to get vaccinated. We are focused on taking vaccine to people instead of people needing to come and meet the vaccine."