COVID-19 Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot gets vaccine as city moves into Phase 1B of distribution plan

BySarah Schulte and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
More Chicagoans get vaccinated as state moves into Phase 1B
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From essential workers to senior citizens to Uber drivers to the mayor, more Chicagoans got the COVID vaccine Monday as the state moved into Phase 1B.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot rolled up her sleeve and got the COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning at St. Bernard Hospital as the city officially moved into Phase 1B of the vaccine distribution plan.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Alison Arwady administered the vaccine to Mayor Lightfoot.

"I think increasingly, people are optimistic and hopeful in recognizing the importance of what this vaccine will mean to their lives," Mayor Lightfoot said.

RELATED: Chicago COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by zip code

The rest of Illinois moved into Phase 1B of vaccine distribution as well on Monday, which means people over the age of 65 and some essential workers are eligible to get the vaccine.

Frank Kam is over 65. Amit Parekh is a restaurant worker, and his father is an Uber driver. John Burns is an essential worker. They all got vaccinated Monday.

"The shot, I didn't feel it. It was like nothing, and I'm really happy, happy to get this and this will be over soon and we won't have to wear these anymore," said Kam.

"I registered at multiple facilities as soon as I got a phone call," Parekh said. "You've got to jump on it as soon as possible."

Innovative Express Care in Lincoln Park was by appointment only Monday, and with only enough doses to vaccinate current patients, they're booked for now.

"Obviously, we don't have an unlimited supply of COVID vaccines, so we are allowing about 780 a day. We are booked up for the next three days," said Dr. Rahul Khare, CEO of Innovative Express Care.

Of Chicagoans who have received the vaccine, Mayor Lightfoot said only 17% are Latinx and only 15% are Black, based on analysis by CDPH.

"Our city is two thirds people of color and yet we are falling woefully behind in the number of people of color who have been vaccinated to date," Mayor Lightfoot.

Mayor Lightfoot announced that the city would be targeting 15 high-need communities based on COVID-19 vulnerability. The city is also planning to work with community groups to connect with people who may be left out of traditional vaccine channels and identify groups where vaccine access will most quickly decrease COVID transmission.

The mayor said while frustration over supply and distribution continue, she doesn't believe the rollout in Chicago has been too slow.

"I feel very confident and comfortable with the pace at which we are going," the mayor said.

Supply is likely to significantly increase when the Johnson& Johnson vaccine, which is one dose, is approved. The could happen by the end of February