Illinois COVID vaccine update: vaccines will be available in buildings in downtown Chicago
Governor JB Pritzker on Monday launched a new program to bring clinics directly to where people work.
As vaccine supplies now exceed demand, the state is adding new focus to its immunization efforts to help increase the percentage of those who have been vaccinated.
Things are shaping up to be clearer to get more shots in the arms of employees who work downtown.
“We are focusing on getting the vaccine to people rather than to those who need to come in for the vaccine,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Starting next week, several large downtown buildings, including the Merchandise Mart and the Wrigley Building, will host clinics to vaccinate employees. 150 N. Riverside will host his on May 21st. The state will also partner to bring clinics to Rockford and Schaumburg. People will need to register for the appointments.
The sites are:
-Merchandise Mart, 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago
-Harris Bank Building, 115 S. LaSalle Street, Chicago
-540 W. Madison Street, Chicago
-Fair building, 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
-150 N. Riverside Plaza, Chicago
-311 South Wacker (Walgreens at 250 S Wacker Dr), Chicago
-Wrigley Building, 400-410 North Michigan Avenue (Walgreens at 410 N Michigan Ave), Chicago
-308 W. State Street, Rockford
-1111 S. Alpine Road, Rockford
-1061 American Lane, Schaumburg
Pritzker said initial clinics in several commercial buildings will take place during shift changes so that they can accommodate as many workers as possible.
“If you’re a younger person who hasn’t had as much time to be able to get the vaccine. This is probably another very positive development in this area,” said Kent Swanson, Exec. Vice-President, Riverside Investment and Development.
After two weeks of steadily declining numbers of people vaccinated statewide, the seven-day moving average is on the rise.
But with only 35% of the state fully immunized, health officials are looking for every possible way to bolster that.
“For many tenants in their buildings, remote work is coming to an end, because having vaccines available where you work makes the vaccine very convenient,” said Pritzker.
It will also be a boost for the economy of the city center. The Building Owners and Management Association insists it is essential to bring the 600,000 people – who worked before the pandemic in downtown buildings – to their offices.
“It is imperative that our state and our city recover and maintain this density. Literally, it is literally and figuratively the heart of what makes us a city and it is certainly what sustains our collective economy, ”said Farzin Parang, Executive Director, BOMA.
If the demand is there, Pritzker said the state will return for more vaccination clinics.
The governor also said that if more property owners and managers in the state wanted to host similar events, the state of Illinois would help organize that.
Any group, whether it’s a church group or a neighborhood organization, can register through the state to host a vaccination clinic at no cost to them. The governor has promised to provide the resources and the personnel.
More information is available at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinationclinics.
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