Chicago (CBS) Ten months after the first COVID-19 vaccines were given to Americans, the city and country are entering a new phase like booster boost become available.
Meanwhile, as CBS2’s Marisa Barra reported Saturday, vaccination rates are still lagging behind in some Chicago communities, so the city is in an interesting position. Officials are still trying to get their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine if they haven’t yet received the vaccine, while also targeting people who got their first shots to get a booster shot.
The city is also targeting everyone to advise them to get a flu shot.
“I’ve had the flu shot in this arm, and my COVID-19 booster in this arm,” Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Alison Arwady said after raising both arms at Kennedy King College in Englewood.
Hours later, Arwady and Mayor Lori Lightfoot showed up for another event with vaccinations at Belmont Cragin. The goal was to ramp up the campaign for all of the vaccines – COVID and flu – as we transition into cooler weather.
“We know there are still a lot of people in Chicago who haven’t had a COVID vaccine,” Arwady said.
So far, Jose Angel Ramos has been one of them.
“I think I was a little scared of all those rumours,” Ramos said. “I was kinda a little touched. That’s why it took so long.”
The neighborhood is populated mostly by Latinos, and for most of the year, Belmont Garage has been lagging behind in vaccinations.
City data shows that ZIP codes that are still behind on vaccinations are in most black and brown neighborhoods.
Reverend Angelina Zias, pastor of Grace and Peace Church at 1856 N. LeClaire Ave.
Zias wanted to host something to serve her neighbours. So, in addition to distributing supplies to families and a job fair to the unemployed, I’ve brought in vaccinations and booster shots for people who live in the area.
“I live two blocks away,” Ramos said. “It took 30 seconds to walk here.”
And for Ramos, who has hesitated for the past 10 months, that was the motivation he needed.
“They came into my neighborhood, and it shows they care,” he said. “They take care of the neighborhood here.”
City data shows that Latinos in Chicago who are eligible for the booster shot, only 16 percent scored.
“We still have a lot of ‘qualified time’ people here in Chicago for Pfizer, including the 65-plus group, who haven’t got it yet,” Arwady said.
Nationally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more people are receiving booster doses than are getting the first round of COVID-19 vaccines. But if the local data we have so far is any indication, it will be an uphill battle to get boosted shot ratios where the city wants it to be.