Morton Grove's Muslim Community Center hosts Cook County COVID vaccination clinic; nearly 2K receive first dose during Ramadan

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Saturday, April 17, 2021
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The Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove hosted a Cook County vaccination clinic Saturday.

MORTON GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- With his parents urging, it's vaccination day for 16-year-old Shayan Frahim.

"Both actually wanted me to get the shot as soon as possible. I'm just happy we got it," said Frahim.

The high schooler is one of 2,000 suburban Cook County residents who received their shot on Saturday at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove.

"I think what today represents is something I've been advocating for the last three or four months and that is to get into the more local level especially for the senior population," said Mayor Dan DiMaria, Morton Grove.

The vaccination clinic is happening during the holy month of Ramadan.

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"We'd actually reached out to our community and let it be known that the permissibility of taking a vaccine is not a problem," said Ishaq Lat of the Muslim Community Center.

All Illinois residents age 16 or older are now eligible for the vaccine.

Officials estimate that some of them make up the roughly 2.5 million residents of suburban Cook County that need to be vaccinated.

"We've identified a number of obstacles over time, whether it be cultural sensitivity issues, language barriers, trust," said Omar Khan with the Muslim Community Center.

The day-long effort is the result of a partnership between the MCC and the Cook County Department of Public Health's Mobile Vaccination Program.

On Thursday, the county administered 500,000th dose.

"We will continue to focus on distributing our supply equitably ensuring it goes to residents with the greatest need," said President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board.

Residents at Saturday's inoculation received the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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It was administered by Jewel-Osco pharmacy personnel as the push continues to provide vaccine access to diverse communities.

"Partnering with individuals who are trusted individuals who can help educate and bring down the barriers against vaccine hesitancy," said Dr. Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health.

Cook County plans on holding 37 more vaccination events at nearly 200 sites.