Chicago offers in-home COVID vaccines in hopes of getting more residents vaccinated

CHICAGO (WLS) -- COVID vaccine rates among African Americans are still low across Chicago, so the health department is on a mission to bring the vaccine to residents at their homes.

The program is proven to be a success in helping people get their shots and driving the vaccination rates up.

Flanked by a security guard, home vaccinators working for the City of Chicago are getting busier by the day, as they travel from one house to another on the city's South Side.

"We do about 16 homes a day and in the homes, there could six people in a home. We are trying to get the vaccines out there," said CDPH home COVID vaccinator Myisha Franklin.

The fourth stop on their long list is Thomas Robinson's home. The 53-year-old got his first dose Friday.

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Robinson called the city last week to come to his home, which is a much more convenient option for him.

"It was time for me because everyone else in my family got one," he said.

The city's home vaccination program opened up for every resident in June. The Chicago Department of Public Health said recently that the program has been going so well, and that CDPH has doubled its capacity and expanded to evening hours.

"We've seen a lot of interest in areas where there is less access to health care and in under-vaccinated areas," said CDPH COVID Response Deputy Commissioner Christina Anderson.

Home visits have helped increase vaccination rates among Black residents since the program opened to everyone in June. More than half of the people who are signing up are African American.

However, vaccination rates among Black Chicagoans continue to lag far behind, with only 42.4% having received at least one dose and only 37.2% are fully vaccinated.

"I've been trying it get more research at the beginning, they didn't have enough research," said 49-year-old Edward Alexander, who has yet to get the shot.

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After a chat with the home vaccinators, Alexander said he plans to call for a home visit.

After getting his first dose, Robinson hopes his neighbor follows through and gets the vaccine, too.

"I want everybody else to get theirs because dying out there," Robinson said.

To book a home appointment, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDVax or call 312-746-4835.
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