DuPage County COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at fairgrounds in Wheaton

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- A mass vaccination site is now open in the western suburbs.

The DuPage County Fairgrounds has pivoted from a COVID-19 testing site to COVID-19 vaccinations.

"I've never been so excited to get a shot," one attendee said Wednesday.

Over 100,000 DuPage County residents have already been vaccinated, and with a new mass vaccination site now open, things will move even smoother.

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"We've been vaccinating people since the week after Christmas; we've relocated to this site to expand as the vaccine supply goes up," said Chris Hoff, with the DuPage County Health Department.

The new site could vaccinate up to 5,000 people a week, if the supply is available. It's great news for essential workers who are trying to stay safe.

"I work at a grocery store in Naperville, and I wanted to be sure I stay healthy," Michael Drabik said.

Middle school Principal Kim Price was eligible to receive her vaccine Wednesday, and made sure to make an appointment as soon as she could:

"As a whole, it's going to move our community to a greater level of safety and peace of mind and the comfort of getting it done," Price said.

RELATED: DuPage County COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open at fairgrounds in Wheaton

Moving the vaccination location to the fairgrounds means more indoor space to keep everyone safe and warm, but it is by appointment only, which can be very challenging for residents. Officials are urging patience.

"We're here for the long haul, we're ready to get people vaccinated as soon as the supply is here," Hoff said. "We know it's frustrating not to find an appointment, but that's because the vaccine is not there."

Officials want to stress that the vaccine supply is limited.

This week, only 10,000 doses are available for all of DuPage County.

DuPage County leads the collar counties in vaccinations with over 100,000 doses administered to residents. Executive director Karen Ayala is urging seniors and front-line essential workers to register on their website and several other avenues. The county estimates it will take about three months to vaccinate the 268,000 people within Phase 1B.

Those who want to register for the vaccine in DuPage County can visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine and those without internet or need support can call the health department at (630) 682-7400

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.
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