As the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to vaccinate all individuals eligible in Phase 1b against COVID-19, which includes seniors age 65+ and essential workers, it is launching several new initiatives specifically for seniors to receive the vaccine. To date, one in three Chicagoans age 65+ has received a first dose of vaccine.
Throughout the month of March, the City will host multiple, targeted senior community vaccine events; provide priority appointments to seniors at the new United Center mass vaccination site opening, which will begin to administer a limited number of vaccines on March 9, with a full opening March 10; offer additional appointments for seniors at the City’s points of dispensing sites (PODs); and offer mobile vaccination programs for homebound seniors and those residing in independent living facilities. All vaccine doses are given free of charge.
“We’ve declared March ‘Senior Month’ in Chicago and are calling on all Chicagoans to step up and help our seniors sign up and get vaccinated,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “The new United Center vaccination site represents a turning point in our COVID-19 recovery effort and a major opportunity for all of us to serve our seniors and protect our residents who are most vulnerable to this virus.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, seniors have been the most vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, which is why they have been prioritized for vaccine,” said Allison Arwady, M.D., Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “We know that vaccinating older residents has the biggest impact on preventing COVID-19 deaths. More than 80 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in Chicago have been residents age 60 and up. We are launching new vaccination options to ensure the vaccine is accessible to all our seniors.”
Beginning March 4 at 8:30 a.m, seniors will have exclusive access to registration for the new United Center vaccination site. Approximately 110,000 appointments will be available to seniors when registration opens. The United Center site is expected to administer up to 6,000 doses per day. The City has partnered with Uber, ADA paratransit, CTA and Pace to offer transportation assistance to and from the United Center.
Seniors can register online at Zocdoc.com/vaccine. Zocdoc will show real-time appointment availability and seniors will then be able to select a date/time and book an appointment online. Date of birth will be required when booking an appointment to confirm vaccine eligibility.
A multi-lingual call center will also be available to help seniors make an appointment. Seniors can register by phone by calling (312) 746-4835. This call center will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Given the anticipated high demand for appointments, residents who can use the website should book their appointments online. While the call center has 200 staffers, those who need to use the call center will very likely experience lengthy wait times.
Separately from the United Center, starting March 5, CDPH is partnering with Jewel Osco and City parks to host a series of vaccine events for seniors in 11 communities that rank high on the City’s Chicago COVID Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI).
Appointments are required at these events and the City is working with community partners, faith leaders and local Aldermanic offices to register eligible seniors in each priority neighborhood. The schedule includes:
- March 9 – West Pullman: West Pullman Park
- March 10 – Burnside and Calumet Heights: Jesse Owens Park
- March 12 – Hermosa: Kosciuszko Park
- March 13 – West Lawn: West Lawn Park
- March 14 – Lower West Side (Pilsen): Harrison Park
- March 14 – Auburn Gresham: Foster Park
An event will also be hosted in Brighton Park, and the date and location will be announced soon.
To learn more, or sign up a senior for one of these community vaccination events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 746-4835. Seniors will either be sent a registration link or receive a call from the City of Chicago’s Contract Tracing Corp who will assist in registering over the phone. Seniors who are able to set their own appointment should request to be sent the link directly.
For homebound seniors, CDPH and the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) are launching a pilot program on March 4 in which CFD Community Paramedics will begin administering vaccines to seniors in their own homes. This mobile, home-health community vaccination program will serve seniors who are unable to travel to a vaccination site, as well as their caregivers. Those interested in signing up for the program can complete a survey at https://redcap.link/MobileCOVIDVax.
The City will also continue to prioritize vaccination for seniors at its Protect Chicago Plus temporary vaccination clinics and will also be offering vaccine appointments at City PODs for seniors, who can register using Zocdoc.
Finally, CDPH is supporting mobile vaccination teams that are visiting dozens of independent senior living facilities throughout the month of March to vaccinate residents.
For more information, visit Chicago.gov/SeniorVax.