3 generations of West Englewood family get COVID-19 vaccine together

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was a family affair as three generations of Gloria Williams' relatives got their COVID-19 vaccination.

"I'm not too far from here so I said, 'Okay, I'll get the shot,'" said Barbara Balls, Williams' sister.

That included her 86-year-old mother, Maggie Williams.

"I feel alright," her mom said.

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"Everybody getting vaccinated then can come around my mother," said Williams' Brother Glenn. "The grandkids and stuff like that. It lessens her chance of catching something."

Nearly a dozen of Williams' family members was able their first doses of the Moderna vaccine Saturday morning in a matter of minutes at the Esperanza Health Centers' mass vaccination site located at 60th and Western Avenue.

Organizers said at this Esperanza site and its others, they've delivered over two 40,000 doses of the vaccine.

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The site opened in early February and books nearly 500 appointments a day. The West Englewood neighborhood has been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 and is listed at the top of the city's most vulnerable communities according to Chicago's COVID-19 vulnerability index.

"Just knowing you have someplace in your backyard, just around the corner where you can go, I think that makes a world of difference," said Ricardo Cifuentes with Esperanza health centers.

The mass family vaccination happened after the community influencer and longtime West Englewood resident learned her neighborhood was being prioritized to receive the shot under the city's Protect Chicago Plus program. Under the program, residents 18 and older who live in specific community areas can qualify for vaccination outside of the tiered rollout plan.

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"So many Black and brown communities have had issues as it relates to health care access, communication about health care, and sometimes the way they are treated," said Jorja Porter with Protect Chicago Plus.

The family will return for their second shot next month and hopes they can be example for others.
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