Officials urge children and adults to get their COVID-19 injections on ‘Vaccine Awareness Day’ Nov. 12 – Community News
Covid-19

Officials urge children and adults to get their COVID-19 injections on ‘Vaccine Awareness Day’ Nov. 12

City officials on Tuesday urged families in Chicago to make their plans for “Vaccine Awareness Day” as COVID-19 cases spike towards the holiday season.

The hastily scheduled vaccine promotion scheduled for Friday — an effort to get residents to “protect their health on the 12th” — means a day off for Chicago Public Schools students and two hours of paid leave for city workers to encourage immunizations. , especially among newly eligible children ages 5 to 11.

dr. Allison Arwady, the Chicago health commissioner, said that with the number of cases increasing in the Midwest since Oct. 24, it is critical to vaccinate as many people as possible to prevent another wave.

“If we can vaccinate a lot of students now, if we can get a lot of adults vaccinated and boosted for the holidays, now is the time to do that,” Arwady said at a city hall news conference. “We’re waiting a month, we’re waiting two months — we could be in the middle of a bigger wave.”

The daily number of cases is up 21% in the city since last week, with an average of 382 residents testing positive every day. Nearly 1,400 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide on Monday night, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the highest total since Oct. 18.

“Part of it is [because] the weather is getting colder and we go inside. To me it’s mostly an indication that now is the time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, and to make sure your kids are vaccinated,” Arwady said.

Nearly 70% of Chicago residents age 5 or older have received at least one shot, with 63.6% being considered fully vaccinated.

Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, said the “Vaccine Awareness Day” — announced to parents just eight days in advance last week — was organized in an effort to raise those rates in time for the holidays. To complete their vaccine series before Christmas or Kwanzaa, residents should receive their first injections this weekend.

“This weekend is the magical time to try and achieve that. That’s the real reason for our decision,” said Martinez, insisting it wasn’t due to a shortage of substitute teachers.

The city hosts numerous vaccine clinics throughout the week. For locations for kids, visit chi.gov/youthvax. Children and adults who get their chance at events hosted by the city are eligible for $100 worth of Visa gift cards. This does not apply to adults who receive boosters.

Families are first encouraged to make an appointment with their doctor or at a pharmacy.

The Chicago Park District offers Friday programs for children from families in need of childcare. More information is available at chicagoparkdistrict.com/schools-out-parks-in.

Also on Tuesday, the city of Arkansas removed from its quarantine advice for unvaccinated travelers, a list that still includes 40 states and one U.S. territory. The only others not currently considered COVID-19 hotspots are Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.