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New Chicago Area Mass Vaccination Site Opens Friday, But Not Everyone Can Get A Shot

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new mass vaccination site opens this Friday in west suburban Forest Park.

The National Guard will help distribute 1,000 shots a day at the facility.

The added site comes as Cook County moves into the so-called Phase 1B+ category of the vaccination plan. That means people with serious underlying health conditions are now eligible to get their shots.

But there's still confusion over where you can go. CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports.

The city of Chicago announced it will expand who can get a vaccine at the United Center.  It's people who live in the following zip codes:

60608, 60609, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60623, 60624, 60628, 60629, 60632, 60636, 60639, 60644, 60649, 60651, 60652,  60653

On Monday, Governor JB Pritzker had positive news on the vaccine rollout.

"I'll deploy every available resources to get the entire state over the finish line as quickly as possible," Pritzker said.

But move to Phase 1B+ didn't have the same impact on everyone.

"I mean it's incredibly heartbreaking. I had to work with somebody who had cancer last week to tell them they're not eligible at most of the sites in the city of Chicago. They're not eligible even though they sick and they can't travel. While their friends may be getting vaccinated, they couldn't."

Karolina Ash helps people track down appointment through her group the Chicago Vaccine Angels.

So do Sarah Summers and Gisele Gover.

"The city of Chicago and the state of Illinois are not on the same page right now," Summers said.

And they've been having to explain to Chicago residents that city officials decided to bypass that intermediate Phase 1B+ in favor of a March 29 move to Phase 1C.


They said they understand the reasons for the lag.

"There are underprivileged areas in Chicago. Even without web access," Gover said.

"I know it's hard for the people who are eligible in the state, but not the city, to get vaccinated," Summers added. "But there's a ton go people in the city that it's hard for them to get access."

And for now, they're just trying to help others to weed through the confusion until everyone is finally eligible.

"If they're going to city of Chicago vaccinations site, no it does not affect them. There are sites downstate and outside of Cook County that are allowing all Illinois residents to get vaccinated," Ash said. "But if they're looking to get vaccinated near their home or one of these mass vaccination site, no they can't currently go there."

A drive-through vaccination site is set to open at the United Center on Tuesday.

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