Chicago neighborhoods with low vaccination rates concerned about holiday gatherings COVID spread

Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Chicago neighborhoods with low vax rates concerned over holiday gatherings
In neighborhoos like Englewood, where the COVID vaccination rate is low, there are growing concerns about holiday gatherings and their potential to spread the virus.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Something Good in Englewood prepares to spread joy with their Christmas giveaway to families, they're concerned about what's to come after the holidays in a neighborhood with one of the lowest COVID vaccination rates in the city.

"That's definitely a large concern for myself included, I have family members who don't believe in the vaccination," said Justin Morgan, director of operations at Something Good in Englewood.

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In the 60621 zip code only 52% of residents are fully vaccinated, compared to about 64% of overall in the city. Morgan said his organization has been on a mission to get people in this neighborhood vaccinated.

"Some of the biggest obstacles we have is actually getting the proper information to our families so they can make the sound decision to get vaccinated," he said.

Englewood has been one of the hardest hit neighborhoods by the pandemic.

"I had to be hospitalized in the ICU fighting for my life," said Katrina Faulkner, a resident of Englewood.

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Faulkner is fully vaccinated and with the new variant spreading it worries her that so many in Englewood are not. She said she has been encouraging family members to get vaccinated and tested. She is planning to take some precautions for Christmas.

"I actually have a temperature thing to check at the front door to make sure everyone's temperature is OK," Faulkner said.

Alderman Stephanie Coleman is advising some people to rethink their holiday gatherings.

"I am really concerned with our 18 to 30-year-olds that have just been convinced that they are immune and they will not be infected," she said.

Morgan said he's going to continue to spread the word about the importance of protecting yourself and your community with the vaccine.

"I truly and honestly think that if you are vaccinated you have a better chance at fighting COVID," he said.