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New mass vaccination site opening in Waukegan; McHenry vaccination site expands

File Photo – Gov. J.B. Pritzker. | Provided.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Monday that a new mass vaccination site is opening in Waukegan and he is sending additional National Guard members to expand the McHenry mass vaccination site.

“As we continue to get more and more vaccine from the federal government, I’m proud to launch four additional state-supported large mass vaccination sites open to all eligible Illinoisans to ensure residents can receive their vaccines as efficiently and equitably as possible,” Pritzker said.

New COVID-19 state-supported vaccination sites are coming to Lake County, Kane County and Will County, and an existing Grundy County site will expand to serve any eligible Illinois resident.

“Over 3.6 million Illinoisans have already received their first dose of vaccine. We’re projected to get nearly 1 million doses this week, and IDPH and our 97 local health departments working hard to administer these shots,” Pritzker said.

He encouraged residents to continue wearing a mask and using caution as new cases and hospitalizations rise in the state.

The new Lake County mass vaccination site will be at the same location as the state’s current community-based testing center, located at 102 West Water Street in Waukegan.

It will open on Thursday and have the capacity to vaccinate 400 people a day. The site will be overseen by the Lake County Health Department and the National Guard will be assisting.

“This site enhances our equitable distribution of the vaccine in an area especially hard-hit during the pandemic, and shows the great partnership between the Lake County Health Department, City of Waukegan, and Illinois National Guard to bring additional vaccine supply to our region,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department.

Appointments for the Waukegan site will be sent out through the county’s AllVax system at allvax.lakecohealth.org.

The new Lake County mass vaccination site will be at the same location as the state’s current community-based testing center, located at 102 West Water Street in Waukegan. | Provided Photo.

Pritzker also said that he is activating additional members of the Illinois National Guard to support the McHenry County Health Department expand its local operations to help those who live or work in the county.

McHenry County’s current mass vaccination site is located at the former K-Mart building, 1900 North Richmond Road in McHenry, and serves McHenry County residents only.

“The addition of the Illinois National Guard has allowed the McHenry County Department of Health to expand its mass vaccination site in the City of McHenry to six days per week speeding up the pace at which county residents and workers are getting vaccinated,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator at the McHenry County Department of Health.

Appointments for the McHenry site are sent out to those who sign up through the state’s vaccination registration page at covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov.

There are more than 1,460 Illinois National Guard troops assigned to COVID-19 operations throughout the state.

Divided into 91 different teams, these troops are operating at 40 locations throughout the state and have already administered more than 650,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the governor’s office said.

Any Illinois resident in phases 1A, 1B and 1B+, as well as those who are government workers, higher education staff, media, food and restaurant workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders, can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their zip code, immigration status, or health insurance at state-supported mass vaccination sites, pharmacies and health department clinics.

By April 12, all Illinois health departments and clinics receiving allocations from the State of Illinois will expand eligibility to all residents 16 years and older.