Little Village residents line up for COVID vaccine at Enlace Chicago building: 'I feel more at ease'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Organizations in Little Village teamed up to offer the COVID vaccine for community members aged 18 and older this week. The two-day vaccine clinic was held Wednesday and Thursday.

"I know its been hard on a lot of families. I know personally its touched mine so it's nice to have this center here where we can get vaccinated," said Brian Rodriguez, Little Village resident.

Rodriguez and his mother Lucinda Rodriguez both got their first COVID-19 vaccines at Enlace Chicago, a non-profit. Rodriguez said his family has felt the pain of a COVID-19 death, losing a close family member to the virus. He said his family, who are all essential workers, are relieved to be getting vaccinated.

"Now that I've officially taken the first dose I feel more at ease, and yeah, I think everyone in my family feels more at ease," said Rodriguez.

Enlace Chicago, Esperanza Health Centers, Latinos Progresando and City's Protect Chicago Plus program all provided vaccines that were given at the Enlace Chicago building and the Esperanza Health Center.

"We're expecting to vaccinate 7,500 people or 10% of our population of the neighborhood," said Katya Nuques, executive director of Enlace Chicago.

Nuques said it was vital to provide vaccines to a community heavily hit by COVID deaths, as well as to the uninsured and undocumented.

"There are, unfortunately, many factors why people in Little Village don't have, normally would have a lower number of vaccines. Especially because about 44% of the community members in Little Village do not have health insurance," said Nuques.

Both vaccination sites had more than 20 health care providers and more than 20 volunteers registering Little Village residents.

Nuques said all residents 18 and over were eligible for the vaccine.

"Anybody who lives in Little Village and has proof of residents can get a vaccine," she said.

Yukare Nakayama is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the West Side of the city in neighborhoods like Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale and Austin. Nakayama also covers the north shore suburbs such as Highland Park and Highwood. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods, send an email to Yukare.X.Nakayama@abc.com
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.