DuPage County reopens mass vaccination site due to high demand for booster shots

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- DuPage County has reopened a mass vaccination site at its fairgrounds in Wheaton because of high demand for booster shots.

The DuPage County Health Department reached out to all residents who received their original doses at the fairgrounds. Ten percent of the county's population were vaccinated here a few months ago.

SEE ALSO | Who's eligible for Pfizer booster shots? What if I got Moderna? Everything to know about 3rd dose

"I qualified to do it at my age and I feel safer having it than not," DuPage County resident Fred Hoffman said.

"I want to keep my immunity as high as I can because you don't know what is coming next," resident Charlie Bletsas added.

"I got the first two shots here, then my booster," Jerri Croak said. "It was very efficient, very satisfied."

This time around, there is plenty of supply.

"We want to make sure that when people make the decision to get the third dose, that they have easy access to it and that really drove our decision to reopen the site," said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Dept.

Currently, boosters continue to only be for Pfizer recipients who are either over 65, have underlying medical conditions or are health care workers. Dental assistant Carla Whitlock came from Naperville to get her third dose.

"I said I'll get it as soon as I can to keep everyone safe, my patients and everyone in my family," she said. "I believe in it. It is saving lives."

But not all who showed up on Wednesday had luck getting their shot. Charlie Bletsas made an appointment after receiving an email from the health department, but he was turned away because he is 2 days shy from the six-month required interval from his last shot.

"The gentleman at the front door wants to see your registration and your card to see if you waited the six months," Bletsas said.

The vaccination site will be adding Johnson & Johnson boosters once approved. The FDA will be reviewing the data on Friday. In the meantime, the vaccination site is also open to all people who have yet to get their first doses.

For now, the vaccination site is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the plan is to keep the site open through December.
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