Chicago area counties exceed Biden's 70% COVID vaccine goal, communities of color lag in the city

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A monumental task and a monumental accomplishment as many Chicago area counties meet President Biden's goal of 70% of adults with at least one COVID vaccination.

"We've worked with hospitals, clinics businesses schools, farmers markets, minority organizations in our community," said Uche Onwuta, Director, Division of Health Protection with Kane County Health Dept.

RELATED: Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county

According to the CDC, in Illinois, Jo Daveiss, DuPage, Lake, Kendall, Cook - including Chicago-, Kane, Will, and McHenry counties have exceeded Biden's goal of 70% of the adult population vaccinated with one dose.

DuPage with the highest rate in our area at 81.6%.

"We know that having good information and knowing people who have been vaccinated yourself is a big part of getting the vaccine," said Chris Hoff, DuPage County Health Department Director of Community Health Resources.

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

But in many communities of color in the Chicago, vaccination rates lag far behind that 70% one dose benchmark.

"There was a lot of stuff and rumors just floating around. I didn't know whether those rumors had truth to it," said Englewood Oak Street Health account executive Brion McBeth.

McBeth said even he hesitated to get the vaccine at first. Then, "I noticed people who were very close to me were starting to actually catch the virus."

Doctor Kyra Payne said hesitancy is still very real in her community.

"Just educating them on what the vaccine is, the side effects, I think that has gone a long way into educating my community and getting the patients vaccinated," she said.

An ABC7 analysis of city data shows 44% of adult residents in 60633, which is South Deering and Hegwisch have received at least one dose. That's the lowest percent of any zip code in the city. It's followed by 60621, which includes Englewood at 44%, then 60649, Pulaski Park at 45%.

"The most concerning thing to me is that some of the areas with the lowest vaccination rates are areas where people had the highest morbidity from COVID 19, and that is some of our communities of color," said Dr. Emily Landon, University of Chicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist.
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