Mayor: Chicago opening 6 mass coronavirus vaccination sites

The city of Chicago is opening six mass COVID-19 vaccination sites that’ll be able to deliver roughly 25,000 weekly shots once operational, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday.

Lightfoot visited one of two new sites that opened Thursday but said Chicago needs many more first doses to protect all Chicagoans quickly. The last three sites are expected to open in the next week. Most are at City Colleges of Chicago campuses.

"We are frustrated by the federal government’s response to COVID-19 overall, but particularly the vaccine rollout which is not delivering on its promises of the quantities that we’ve seen," Lightfoot said after touring a Richard J. Daley College site.

She said Chicago has been receiving fewer doses each week. From about 38,000 first doses two weeks ago to about 32,000 last week. She said at the current rate it’ll take 1.5 years to vaccinate all Chicagoans.

Currently, Chicago is vaccinating health care workers and residents and employees of long-term care facilities. There are roughly 400,000 healthcare workers who live and work in Chicago, including dentists and nurses. The next phase includes elderly residents and essential workers, but health officials haven’t said when that’ll begin.

Illinois has reported more than 1 million COVID-19 infections overall.

More than 94,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed in Chicago to frontline workers to date.

Starting next week, hospitals will start vaccinating people 65 and older and high risk.

Priority will be given to patients over 75 years old and those with significant underlying health conditions.

FOX 32's Nate Rodgers contributed to this report.