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Back to just slap shots and jump shots? United Center walk-up vaccination site shutting down next week

About 287,000 doses have been administered at the city’s most prominent and prolific vaccination destination since it launched March 9.

People line up outside the United Center mass vaccination site the day of its launch March 9. The walk-thru portion of the clinic will shut down after May 24.
People line up outside the United Center mass vaccination site the day of its launch March 9. The walk-thru portion of the clinic will shut down after May 24.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The shot clock is winding down on the United Center mass vaccination site.

The last day of operations for the walk-through portion of the federally run clinic will be Monday and the drive-thru portion will dole out its final COVID-19 shots June 24, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday.

About 287,000 doses have been administered at the city’s most prominent and prolific vaccination destination since it launched March 9, an average of roughly 4,000 shots per day. Officials touted its capacity to get up to 6,000 shots into arms per day.

Additional doses allocated for the UC site were also given out at other clinics in neighborhoods surrounding the Near West Side arena.

It was originally slated to operate for just eight weeks, but that run was extended several weeks ago “because it’s been such a successful site,” Arwady said.

The site got off to a rocky start, though, causing confusion for thousands of Illinoisans who were scrambling for appointments early in the vaccination effort.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker initially said appointments would be open to anyone in the state, but after suburbanites scooped up the bulk of the first wave of appointments, Arwady and Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed to reserve all the slots for residents from lower-income communities of color that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Less than three months later, all it takes to get a shot at the United Center is to show up. Appointments are encouraged but not required.

To sign up, visit zocdoc.com or call (312) 746-4835.

For help getting a shot in suburban Cook County, visit vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or call (833) 308-1988.

To find providers elsewhere, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or call (833) 621-1284.