Chicago offers new vaccine incentives, expands in-home vaccinations as Delta variant spreads

$50 Grubhub gift cards offered to each household that uses in-home vaccination program
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago public health officials announced a new vaccination incentive Tuesday along with the expansion of the city's in-home vaccination program.

The city's in-home vaccination program, Protect Chicago at Home, is now open to all Chicago residents ages 12 and up, Chicago Dept. of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

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Chicago health officials hope a combination of new incentives and expanded in-home vaccination appointments will help get hesitant residents vacainted.



To incentivize residents to choose in-home vaccinations, Chicago-based Grubhub is donating a $50 gift card to every household that participates. Up to 10 people in a household are eligible to be vaccinated, but there will only be one gift card per household. All Chicago residents 12 and older are now eligible for free in-home vaccinations.

WATCH | Chicago announces new vaccine incentives while expanding in-home vaccinations


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Grubhub is donating a $50 gift card to every household that participates in Chicago's newly-expanded in-home vaccination program.



"Make it a family affair. You make one appointment for your whole household," Arwady said. "We do have Pfizer and J&J available, and we will come back for that second dose."

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Chicago's in-home vaccination program was launched initially launched in March to bring vaccines to homebound seniors and those with disabilities, then expanded to all seniors in May.

Appointments can be booked by phone at 312-746-4835 or residents can register online at www.chicago.gov/athome.

The expansions and new incentives are aimed at young, hesitant populations in communities like Englewood, where the vaccination rate is less than half of that in some other neighborhoods.

The city will also give out 1,200 single-day Lollapalooza passes to those who make a special appointment at one of four select City vaccination sites on Saturday, June 26. Each site will offer passes to a different day of the music festival:

- Wilbur Wright College: Passes for Thursday, July 29
- Richard J. Daley College: Passes for Friday, July 30
- Kennedy King College: Passes for Saturday, July 31
- Malcolm X College: Passes for Sunday, August 1

The incentives are being offered as the more contagious Delta variant continues to multiply.

According to White House COVID response team, Delta variant cases in the U.S. have doubled to over 20% in the last two weeks. In Chicago, 70 cases of the variant have been reported.

"They are all over the city, but they are very strongly concentrated in unvaccinated Chicagoans," Arwady said.

Health officials said both doses of the vaccine are very effective against the Delta variant.

SEE ALSO | Chicago COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by zip code



While 54% of Chicagoans have received a first dose, the number remains low in several neighborhoods and is lowest In Englewood.

Karriem Watson with Miles Square Health Center has focused his job on getting more people vaccinated in minority neighborhoods, but said young people have been a challenge.

"I think we need to utilize what the youth are actually using, which is social network and social media," Watson said. "Do we get more young ambassadors, have conversations with them?"

Dr. Arwady said one-on-one conversations have been successful.

Chicago, like the country will not reach the White House's goal of 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4. But officials say the city will get there soon. And as part of a national tour, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will be in Chicago Wednesday to encourage vaccination.
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