Chicago mayor goes door-to-door to get vaccines to Back of the Yards residents

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady joined volunteers on a mission to get people registered for vaccines on the Chicago's South Side Monday.

Berto Aguayo, executive director of Increase Peace, is partnering with the city's Protect Chicago Plus program to get hard-hit minority communities like Back of the Yards vaccinated.

"Right now we are going to taco shops, dry cleaning stores, we are out on the streets knocking on the doors to let people know and meet them where they are," Aguayo said.

Joining the door-to-door efforts in Back of the Yards Monday were Dr. Allison Arwady on one side of the street, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot on the other.

SEE ALSO | Chicago Phase 1C vaccine start date set for March 29
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Chicago will move into Phase 1C for vaccinations on March 29, with appointments set to be available to more essential workers and residents with health conditions.

The Protect Chicago Plus Program targets several specific neighborhoods. So far, Lightfoot said the program is working.

"We have seen that 50% of the vaccine going into the arms of Black and Latin X Chicagoans, that is a significant, significant accomplishment," Lightfoot said.

Hesitancy no longer is a big issue, but supply is.

"There are 3,897 slots apparently available through this program in Back of the Yards, but our neighborhood is about 40,000 large," Aguayo said.

Arwady said the city saw a very small increase from the federal government this week. She hopes that will change when the city moves to Phase 1C on April 1.

"We do feel confident based on everything we are hearing, that is going it ready ramp up - especially the Johnson & Johnson vaccine - in April and May," Arwady said.

Even if supply increases next month, the mayor is warning people the pandemic is far from over. She said Monday there has been an uptick of COVID cases in Chicago among 18 to 39-year-olds.
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