Vaccinations are on the rise, but so are cases of COVID-19 – Community News
Covid-19

Vaccinations are on the rise, but so are cases of COVID-19

The background noise at a busy children’s vaccination site where Mayor Lori Lightfoot held a press conference on Friday can be heartbreaking at times.

Sobbing, whining and the occasional scream of “No!” of anxious children interrupted by the meeting at Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School.

Children aged 5 to 11 – who had just qualified for the injection – were then offered a patch and a cupcake.

The noise, however stressful for everyone in the room, was music to the ears of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

It meant vaccinating children and contributing to a surge in vaccinations reaching 10,000 a day – the highest number of daily vaccinations since June last year.

“The numbers are increasing beautifully,” she said.

And there’s no time left.

“As of today, we have an average of 414 new cases of COVID in Chicago…a 24% increase from just a week ago,” Arwady said.

“I’m concerned that as these holidays come around, we’ll see a bigger increase,” she said.

Lightfoot echoed the concern when she and her wife, Amy Eshleman, rolled up their sleeves to get an extra shot at the vaccination site for the news cameras.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot gets a booster shot on Friday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot gets a booster shot on Friday.
Pat Nabong/Sun Times

Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, said the moment was a “magic period” when children and families could be vaccinated before the holidays.

CPS canceled classes on Friday and city workers were given two hours of paid leave to allow time for vaccinations.

Vaccinations were offered at more than 20 schools, said Martinez, who stressed that vaccination was the best way to handle classroom quarantine, which can lead to frustrating bouts of distance learning.

He said there won’t be a day off for kids to get their second dose.

Martinez said there will be contact with the families of children who have not been vaccinated. He noted that the city will begin home visits on Monday to offer home vaccinations.

Marcia Kay, 37, said her appointment Friday to get her daughters Mina, 9 and Brea, 8, vaccinated quite smoothly.

She thought a bribe for an ice cream would ease fear and tears. It didn’t.

Sebastian Northrop, 6, stood next to his mother, Angela, and said he was getting the injection “so I could protect my sister.”

She’s 3, he said.