State and federal officials announced plans to open a new vaccination facility at the United Center in Chicago that will be able to provide 6,000 vaccine doses per day starting on March 10.

The site at 1901 W. Madison St. will prioritize seniors and equity for the hardest hit populations.

It’s one of several pilot Community Vaccination Centers across the country being established by the Biden administration. All the new vaccine doses will be provided directly by the federal government and not taken out of the state or city’s allotment.

The site will be by appointment only; seniors will have first access to appointments before the site opens, and if appointments remain available after seniors have had their exclusive registration period, any remaining available slots will be open to any Illinoisans eligible under the state’s guidelines. After the launch on March 10, registration will continue to be open for all Illinoisans eligible in the state’s Phase 1B+.

Preparations and buildout of the United Center Community Vaccination Center are now underway. Information about where and how to make appointments will be available in coming days. Demand is anticipated to be high.

The United Center will be open to all Illinois residents currently eligible to be vaccinated under the state guidelines and will be managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with support from the Department of Defense, State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago.

“The United Center is one of the best locations for vaccinating large numbers of people in America: it’s easy to get to, is in the midst of a medically underserved community, can handle large crowds and is well known to everyone in Illinois,” said Gov. JB Pritzker.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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