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City opening mass vaccination sites at Wrigley conference center, Chicago State

The decision to open two more mass vaccination sites comes just a day after the city expanded vaccine eligibility to all essential workers and adults with underlying medical conditions, excluding smokers.

The COVID-19 mass vaccination site in the parking lot of the United Center in March.
Chicago will add mass vaccination sites at the conference center near Wrigley Field and Chicago State University, joining this facility outside the United Center.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Chicago will open two new mass vaccination sites on Monday — one at Chicago State University, the other at a conference center adjacent to Wrigley Field.

The decision to open two more mass vaccination sites in addition to the one already operating in a United Center parking lot comes just one day after the city expanded vaccine eligibility to include all essential workers and adults with underlying medical conditions, excluding smokers.

The Wrigley Field site will be at the American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way, the open-air plaza adjacent to the stadium. The Cubs play their home opener on Thursday.

It will be operated by Advocate Aurora Health and have the capacity to administer roughly 2,000 daily doses of the coronavirus vaccine, by appointment only. Appointments will be posted on later this week with additional appointments added each day.

Chicagoans also will be able to book appointments by phone; details on that process will be announced in the coming days. There will be no on-site registration.

The new mass vaccination site at Chicago State University will be overseen by the Chicago Department of Public Health and by the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), the relief agency spearheaded by actor Sean Penn, with the vaccine administered by Howard Brown Health.

It will have the daily capacity to serve 1,200 walk-up appointments as well as 1,000 drive-through appointments. It will operate Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no on-site registration at Chicago State, either.

Appointments are required for both sites and will be restricted to Chicago residents. Proof of residency will be required, either by driver’s license, Illinois ID card or REAL ID, City Key Card, library card, postmarked letter, utility bill, voter registration confirmation, consular ID or other form of identification.

Proof of immigration status will not be required, nor will proof of insurance. There is no charge for the vaccination.

In a news release announcing the new sites, Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts called it “an honor for Wrigley Field’s campus to play a role in providing life-saving vaccines to Chicagoans and be a part of the solution to ending this pandemic.”

Ricketts thanked Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her leadership during the pandemic and the “amazing team at Advocate” for their partnership.

“This site would not have been possible without Advocate’s incredible health care workers and staff,” Ricketts was quoted as saying in the release.

Lightfoot has spent the last week sounding the alarm about a surge in coronavirus cases among young people ages 18 to 39, living primarily in North and Northwest Side neighborhoods.

But she has also loosened outdoor capacity restrictions.

“We are making progress toward our goal of vaccinating all Chicagoans, and we are very pleased to partner with Chicago State University, the Chicago Cubs and Advocate Aurora Health to bring lifesaving vaccines to our communities,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying.

“While the list of those eligible for the vaccine expands, vaccine supply and appointments are still limited and patience will be key.”