Cook County closing mass vaccination sites in Tinley Park, South Holland, River Grove

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Cook County Health announced it is closing three mass vaccination sites in Tinley Park, River Grove and South Holland.

The county will continue to operate sites in Forest Park, Des Plaines, and Matteson. The county says it will be redeploying resources for hyperlocal vaccination efforts, with 32 municipalities identified as priority areas,

"It is critical that we continue to meet people where they are, either geographically or psychologically, to get them vaccinated," said Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioners. "This means going into neighborhoods and working with community-based organizations to ensure that everyone has access to the vaccine and that we can address the issues that cause people to be hesitant."

The sites in Tinley Park, River Grove and South Holland have administered a total of 267,000 vaccine doses. Cook County Health as administered a total of more than 800,000 doses across all of its sites.

The announcement comes as the United Center closed down its walk-in vaccination clinic, with the drive-thru option remaining open until June 24.

The Tinley Park location was among the three sites to close. Staff there received a round of applause and appreciation Thursday.

"It was very exciting to know closing this gap, closing this loop, is getting us closer to where we want to be," said Claudia Burchinal, director of operations, Cook County Vaccination Sites.

As demand for vaccine has dropped officials now focus on reaching those who are hesitant.

"The African American Latinx communities do not have as high of vaccination rates as others, so we are trying to figure out strategies to address those disproportionate numbers," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

"Please make every effort to get your shot because we are coming out of the dark, but we are not fully in the light yet," said U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd District.

Among the 250 people working at the Tinley Park site were National Guardsmen, Cook County staff and traveling nurses who have been working six days a week and 10 hours a day.

"As a travel nurse out here trying to make the world a better place one vaccine at a time, it actually feels good to see progress," Linita Smith said.

"You get those reminders, it's like you're making history kinda, like, oh yeah, I am, but in your mind you're just being a nurse," said Jamesha Quick.

Some assigned here will move to the three remaining Cook County locations, and some will take a much-needed break before their next assignment.

For more information, visit MyShotCookCounty.com. Walk-ins are welcome at all CCH mass vaccination sites. Individuals can still make appointments at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling 833-308-1988.
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