WEST SIDE — Coronavirus vaccinations are available for all adult residents of Austin, Garfield Park and North Lawndale.
The Austin and North Lawndale sites are part of the city’s Protect Chicago Plus program, part of an effort to immunize people in 15 neighborhoods hardest by the pandemic.
The community vaccination strategy has been effective in immunizing residents in areas where vaccination rates had lagged, city officials said.
In Belmont Cragin and Little Village, vaccination rates are up to more than 10 percent since Protect Chicago Plus began, Deputy Mayor Sybil Madison said. That puts those neighborhoods on pace with the city averages, she said.
“We’re seeing that the strategy works. … That’s making us very excited about what we’ve been able to do because of our partners in a short amount of time,” Madison said.
Here’s how you can sign up:
Austin residents 18 and older can register to get vaccinated beginning March 12 at sites run by Rush University Medical Center and Loretto Hospital. The program is expected to vaccinate about 3,000 Austin residents each week.
Loretto is vaccinating Austin residents Fridays and Saturdays at Amundsen Park, 6200 W. Bloomingdale Ave. Residents can make an appointment online or by calling 773-996-7937.
Rush University Medical Center is vaccinating Austin residents Sundays at Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, 116 N. Central Ave. Make an appointment online or by calling 312-563-0767.
The Austin sites will offer first doses of the vaccines through April 18. No ID is necessary, but people are encouraged to bring proof they are residents of Austin, such as a utility bill.
The community-based vaccinations are an important strategy for making sure neighborhoods that have few medical providers still have equitable access to the vaccines, said Dr. Nikhila Juvvadi, Loretto’s chief clinical officer. Neighborhoods that lacked access to medical care already faced health disparities that caused them to get hit hardest by the pandemic, Juvvadi said.
“It’s not skipping the line. It’s about giving them an equal chance to get the vaccine … removing that barrier so they have the same ability to access,” Juvvadi said.
In Garfield Park, Breakthrough Urban Ministries is offering community-based vaccinations in partnership with St. Anthony Hospital.
To sign up for a vaccine, residents must visit one of two Breakthrough facilities in person.
- Breakthrough FamilyPlex, 3219 W. Carroll Ave. Signups are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
- Breakthrough Fresh Market, 3334 W. Carroll Ave.. Signups are open 2-4 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays.
The Breakthrough sites will schedule vaccinations for anybody who lives in Garfield Park, Austin or North Lawndale as long as they are 18 or older. Residents are asked to bring an ID to prove eligibility.
After a resident signs up, staff at the Breakthrough centers will schedule an appointment to administer the vaccines at St. Anthony Hospital, 2875 W. 19th St.
“This is our way to make sure that our community … has an opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Martin Coffer, director of operations at the FamilyPlex.
Any North Lawndale resident who is an adult can get vaccinated at the Lawndale Christian Health Center clinic inside Homan Square Community Center, 3517 W. Arthington St.
The clinic will vaccinate up to 200 people each weekday with a goal of administering 1,000 shots per week.
All North Lawndale residents 18 and older can schedule a vaccination appointment by calling 872-588-3829. The vaccines are free regardless of insurance and no ID is required.
Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.
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