Chicago Public Schools vaccination clinics open, but some parents remain hesitant

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools are making a big push to get students and their families vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccination clinics are opening as new cases are on the rise, but there's still some hesitancy among some students and their parents.

While it took some convincing, Marnie Morris got her 13-year-old son Jemarion vaccinated at Chicago Vocational High School, CPS' first vaccination site open for students.

"I was skeptical about the vaccinations, I didn't want to be a lab rat," Marnie Morris said.

But the delta variant and making sure Jamerion is safe at school convinced her and other parents to get the shot. CPS parent Marsha Bennett was initially worried about her daughter Nina's allergies until their pediatrician assured them the vaccine is safe for people with underlying conditions.

"I think we have to trust the science at this point and move on," Bennett said.

Kareen Nunnally said she didn't want to push her 15-year-old son until he was ready. Today, he was.

"He was ready, he also recognized as the world opens up he was going to have some challenges," Nunnally said.

But, 13-year-old Braylen Boyd was not ready. He came to watch his 18-year-old sister get the shot, who admits she was hesitant for a while, too.

"I don't like needles at all, since my sister got the vaccine I want to see how she acts after the results and then I may get [it]," he said.

CPS plans to open two more student vaccination sites this week. But the Chicago Teachers Union said it is not nearly enough to meet the union goal of 80% of students who are eligible to be vaccinated by October.

"We would also strongly encourage and perhaps demand that all our school communities provide some anchoring of vaccinations, they need to be in walkable communities and accessible," CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said.

CPS will hold a vaccination site at Roosevelt High School on the Northwest Side on July 14 and the West Side's Michelle Clark High School on July 15.
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