Gov. Pritzker announces vaccine clinic expansions to meet COVID booster demand

State News

CHICAGO (WMBD) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state will double personnel and add at least 100 workers to regional vaccination sites to help meet the growing demand for the COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Pritzker made the announcement Monday afternoon, saying the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will work with local health department mass vaccination operations across the state.

“I’m announcing this surge staffing to support our local health departments to vaccinate and boost tens of thousands more Illinoisans,” Pritzker said.

“We are also increasing testing and continuing to distribute monoclonal antibodies, anti-viral pills, and any treatments or personal protective equipment communities need. I will continue to do everything possible to protect all the people of this state, whatever your vaccine status. But what kind of year 2022 turns out to be depends on all of us doing what is best for all of us.”

J.B. Pritzker, Illinois Governor

The free clinics are open to anyone 12 and older who needs a first or second dose. Adults can mix and match their booster vaccines, but 16 and 17-year-olds can only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Information on available boosters:

Pfizer-BioNTech 16 years and older | Six months after second Pfizer-BioNTech dose  
Moderna 18 years and older | Six months after second Moderna dose  
Johnson & Johnson 18 years and older | Two months after initial vaccination 

Community-Based Testing Sites:

Aurora Arlington Heights South Holland Fairview Heights Peoria 
Near Premium Outlet Mall

2450 N. Farnsworth Avenue 
Arlington Race Track

823 Wilke Road 
South Suburban College

15800 State Street 
St. Clair Square Mall

134 St. Clair Square 
Peoria Civic Center

698 Fulton Street 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
Bloomington Champaign Harwood Heights Rockford Waukegan 
Interstate Center    1106 Interstate Drive, Bloomington Market Place Shopping Center

2000 N. Neil St., Champaign  
6959 W. Forest Preserve Rd., Chicago 1321 Sandy Hollow Road, Rockford 102 W. Water Street, Waukegan 
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday 
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday —
Saturday  

While several locations will accept walk-ups, appointments can be scheduled at each clinic at the links below:

Peoria County: www.pcchd.org

McLean County: https://health.mcleancountyil.gov/790/COVID-19-Vaccine

Pritzker said unvaccinated people with COVID-19 are taking up beds that are needed by others and gave a grim forecast of what may lie ahead.

“If we are forced to move to a crisis standard of care in our hospitals, it will be because massive numbers of unvaccinated people chose to let others go without quality care, and more people will die,” he said.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike emphasized those who have not yet been vaccinated should consider doing so.

“Currently, we are seeing a demand for booster doses, but it is critically important for those who have yet to receive even one dose of vaccine to get vaccinated. The vast majority of cases, hospitalization, and deaths are among those who are not vaccinated. COVID-19 can be prevented through vaccination so get vaccinated and get boosted.” 

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois Department of Public Health Director

Colleen Kannaday, president of Carle BroMenn Medical Center and Carle Eureka Hospital, said the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases has impacted their ability to care for the communities they serve.

She said a community-centric approach could sway some vaccine-resistant people.

“I believe a sense of community is what is needed now to end the surge we’re seeing with this COVID pandemic,” she said. “I worry that our pleas to the community asking everyone to get vaccinated have become white noise, and are actually causing some to bristle at the words, and that’s certainly not what’s intended.”

Pritzker advised people to be mindful of their New Year’s Eve plans.

“Omicron and Delta are coming to your party, so you need to think twice about how many people will be gathered together,” he said.

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