Cook County closes remaining mass vaccination sites

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, upper left, and Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski "clap out" National Guard troops as they close what was the busiest of the county's six now-shuttered mass vaccination sites.

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, upper left, and Des Plaines Mayor Andrew Goczkowski "clap out" National Guard troops as they close what was the busiest of the county's six now-shuttered mass vaccination sites. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addresses National Guard troops at the county's mass vaccination site in Des Plaines a day after the last vaccines were administered there.

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addresses National Guard troops at the county's mass vaccination site in Des Plaines a day after the last vaccines were administered there. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/21/2021 4:14 PM

The last three COVID-19 mass vaccination sites run by Cook County are now closed.

That includes the county's busiest site in Des Plaines.

 

Health officials there said the county's vaccination efforts are now being focused on "hyperlocal outreach" to targeted communities, mainly in the southern and western suburbs, to address hesitancy and access in those areas.

"We are celebrating the success of a program that has served our community so well," Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health, said at a ceremony Wednesday marking the closure of the mass vaccination site in Forest Park. "When we started this -- before we gave our first vaccine -- we said we'd be here for the duration; from the first vaccine dose that was given to the last one that is needed, we will be here."

The vaccination sites in Forest Park and Des Plaines stopped operating Tuesday. The Matteson site closed Wednesday afternoon. Mass vaccination sites run by Cook County in Tinley Park, River Grove and South Holland have been closed since late May.

In all, the sites administered nearly 625,000 doses of the vaccine, according to county records. More than 184,000 doses were administered at the Des Plaines site alone.

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Officials said other county health system vaccination efforts, such as mobile clinics or county-run health centers, added another 200,000-plus doses into the arms of residents and workers.

At their peak, the mass vaccination sites were inoculating more than 14,000 people a day. In recent weeks, that figure has dwindled to fewer than 1,000 shots a day at the three final sites.

"We could not have done this without the hard work of our own staff and the wonderful support we got from the Illinois National Guard," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at Wednesday's ceremony. "We are grateful for all the support we've gotten at our mass vaccination sites."

Residents still seeking vaccines can walk in or make appointments at more than a dozen county-operated health clinics, including one at 3250 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. For more information about getting a vaccine, visit the county's registration site myshotcookcounty.com or call (833) 308-1988.

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