Rockford, Illinois News

United Center will be mass COVID-19 vaccination site beginning March 10

The facility will provide 6,000 vaccines per day.

CHICAGO — The United Center, beginning March 10, will serve as coronavirus mass-vaccination site, capable of administering 6,000 shots per day, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday, Feb. 26.

The United Center is part of the White House’s Community Vaccination Centers pilot program, which is opening mass-vaccination sites across the country.

The site will be by appointment only; seniors will have first access to appointments before the site opens, and if appointments remain available after seniors have had their exclusive registration period, any remaining available slots will be open to any Illinoisans eligible under the state’s guidelines. After the launch on March 10, registration will continue to be open for all Illinoisans eligible in the state’s Phase 1B+.

Preparations and buildout of the United Center Community Vaccination Center are now underway. Information about where and how to make appointments will be available in coming days. Demand is anticipated to be high.

The United Center will be open to all Illinois residents currently eligible to be vaccinated under the state guidelines and will be managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with support from the Department of Defense, State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago.

The United Center site builds on an expanding network of state-supported sites operating across southern, central and northern Illinois. The United Center location is one of the best places in the country to advance key equity priorities through its proximity to medically underserved communities and goals of reaching those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.

“The United Center is one of the best locations for vaccinating large numbers of people in America: it’s easy to get to, is in the midst of a medically underserved community, can handle large crowds and is well known to everyone in Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Thanks to FEMA, the United Center is just our most recent among a growing number of state-supported mass vaccination location for residents.

“To date, the Illinois National Guard has launched 15 state-supported sites, including locations in Springfield, Rockford, Carbondale and Metro East – and that’s on top of mass vax sites operated by our 97 local health departments. I am deeply grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for working closely with us to bring on this high-capacity site, and I’m particularly proud that we’ve worked together to prioritize seniors in this process, moving us that much closer to putting this pandemic to an end.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said: “The new United Center mass vaccination site is a game changer for Chicago and the entire region. This is what Presidential leadership looks like—bold, collaborative, and science-based. With this new site, we’ll now be able to take our vaccination success to a whole new level and bring to bear the historic and inclusive recovery that is soon to come.”

This federal pilot site will not divert allocations from other jurisdictions, as vaccine will be provided direct by the federal government to the site. The site will operate seven days a week for eight weeks under the federal government’s vaccination pilot program.

The United Center was selected by federal officials.

In addition to the United Center, Illinois has 15 state-supported mass vaccination sites already open across the state, including one at the former Kmart at 1321 Sandy Hollow Road, Rockford. The state sites are currently open to any eligible resident via appointment.

For more information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, updates on the state’s plan and eligibility, and answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to  the state’s coronavirus website.