A Lake Zurich firefighter/paramedic administers a COVID-19 vaccine at the Lake County Fairgrounds. | Photo by the Lake Zurich Fire-Rescue Department.

Health officials say that the COVID-19 vaccine supply has dramatically increased, making it easy for everyone to get vaccinated. The Lake County Fairgrounds site is also extending its hours to better accommodate residents.

The Lake County Health Department announced Tuesday that all people ages 16 and older who register on the AllVax Portal and live or work in Lake County are now automatically eligible to schedule an appointment for their vaccine at a vaccination site due.

Beginning May 5, the Lake County Fairgrounds vaccination site will offer evening appointments every Wednesday until 7 p.m. to accommodate people who may have difficulty with earlier weekday appointments or weekends, officials said.

“The Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine supply has dramatically increased over the past two weeks, with nearly 47,000 first doses coming this week alone,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department.

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“It is easier than ever to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, and we urge everyone in Lake County to act quickly and get vaccinated as soon as possible. This protects you from severe COVID-19 illness, the long-term effects of COVID-19, hospitalization, and death,” Pfister said.

“It also greatly reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19 to your friends and family. And ultimately, taking this step will help put an end to the pandemic so we can get our lives back,” Pfister added.

Anyone who lives in Illinois or works in Lake County is encouraged to register in the AllVax Portal.

The health department says that registration is free, easy and secure. People who need help registering can call 847-377-8130 or email [email protected].

The state-run vaccination site at 102 West Water Street in Waukegan is also open to all Illinois residents.

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People who have received the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at another location may also schedule an appointment for their second dose at a Lake County vaccination site through AllVax.

“It is important to get both doses of these vaccines because that is what was shown to be effective during clinical trials,” the health department said.

Thousands of appointments are also available at sites run by the health department’s partners.

Details are updated regularly at lakecountyil.gov/vaccine, included in the health department’s weekly email newsletter and shared through the health department’s network of community partners.

The State of Illinois Vaccine Locator website also provides a directory of locations offering vaccines, including dozens of pharmacies in Lake County.

Most sites are providing vaccinations by appointment, but some sites may offer walk-ins.