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Here’s Where Families Can Get Vaccinated — Or Get Child Care — During Friday’s COVID-19 Vaccination Awareness Day

Officials are urging adults and kids to get vaccinated Friday, before holidays gatherings, to avoid another COVID-19 spike.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is extracted from a vial at Esperanza Health Centers, 6057 S. Western Ave., on Nov. 4, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The city is holding Vaccination Awareness Day on Friday in a bid to get as many people vaccinated — or at least partially vaccinated — as possible before the holidays.

Public schools will be closed and city workers will be released from work two hours early, with pay, so kids and adults have time to get the shots. Officials have also urged private workplaces to give their employees time off to get vaccinated.

Officials detailed their plans for the day during a Tuesday news conference, saying they’ll hold clinics and events throughout Chicago so people can get their shots.

Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Friday marks an important day for Chicago as it’ll be about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Unvaccinated families gathering for the holidays could lead to surges in COVID-19, she and other officials have warned.

“I really don’t want to watch families fall into the ‘I’m going to wait and see’ trap here,” Arwady said.

Thursday is technically the last day adults can get their second Pfizer or Moderna dose to be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving. Parents should try to get their kids in for a first dose by then, too, Arwady said. She’s also urged eligible adults to get their booster shots before the holidays, if needed.

RELATED: Can Kids Visit Santa This Year? Get Vaccinated Soon For A Safe Holiday Season, Top Doc Says

Cases are already rising in Chicago and Illinois due to the weather and because spikes are occurring in nearby states, Arwady said. She said getting people vaccinated before the holidays will be the best time to do it, as there could be a post-holiday surge if people wait.

Everyone 5 and older is now eligible to get vaccinated. The vaccines are free and do not require insurance or ID.

People, including kids 5 and older, who get vaccinated health department events and clinics can get a $50 gift card per dose.

The health department, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges and other agencies have teamed up to offer a variety of vaccination events Friday. Other agencies and major groups will help by offering child care programs, among other things.

Here’s what to expect Friday:

Friday Vaccination Events

There will be more than 200 sites in Chicago where people can get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Friday, Arwady has said.

Here are some highlighted by the city:

You can also check the city’s vaccination event calendar online.

RELATED: Kids 5 And Older Can Now Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19. Here’s How To Get The Shots In Chicago

Other Vaccination Opportunities

Family doctor/health care provider

Families should first contact their family doctor or pediatrician’s office to get their child vaccinated, Arwady previously said.

“We would love them to go their regular provider,” Arwady said. “This should really be your first check.”

Lincoln Park schools events

Children 5 and older and adults can get vaccinated in the coming days at two Lincoln Park schools.

Click here to read more.

Local pharmacies

Some pharmacies also offer pediatric vaccinations:

At-home vaccinations

The city isn’t offering at-home vaccination appointments to kids in the 5-11 age group for now, but it expects to do so by mid-November, Arwady previously said. But, in the meantime, the health department will vaccinate eligible children during at-home appointments for older people.

You can make an appointment online or by calling 312-746-4835.

Children’s hospitals

Various children’s hospitals are vaccinating children. Check their websites for more information.

Other Events

Other city departments and major organizations are holding events to coincide with the day:

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium will offer free admission to CPS students. Tickets must be reserved in advance. You can do so online.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is offering free admission. Go online for details.

Field Museum

The Field Museum will have free admission Friday for CPS students and their families. Click here to read more.


Grab-and-go meals will be offered at sites across the city. Click here for a list of pickup spots.

Park District

The Park District will have 54 parks with programs on Friday. Eleven will have drop-in activities and 43 require registration. Register online.

Chicago Public Library Branches

All Chicago Public Library branches will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The libraries will have grab-and-go kits for children to use at the library or at home.

The Chicago Public Library will have online story times and a list of children’s books about germs, doctors and vaccines. Online tutoring and homework help is available online or at a branch.

City Colleges

City Colleges will hold tours at its seven sites for CPS high school students and other students. The tour schedule is available online.

City Colleges will also hold family vaccination clinics 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. Registration is required online.

Safe Havens

Twenty-six safe haven locations will be open Friday for kids. Here is a list of participating locations.


• In Illinois, about 7.25 million people — or 56.91 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 53,271 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 16,046,642 vaccine doses of the 19,068,895 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.6 million Chicagoans — or 59.7 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 65.3 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Twenty-two Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Monday.

• At least 26,008 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,893 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,245 cases since Monday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,722,590.

• Since Monday, 68,679 tests were reported statewide. In all, 36,526,288 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 2.2 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2.2 percent Monday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 2.7 percent. It was at 2.6 percent Monday.

• As of Monday night, 297 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 160 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, nine deaths were reported since Monday. There have been at least 5,931 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than one death per day, down 58 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 281 confirmed cases reported since Monday. It’s had a total of 331,312 confirmed cases. An average of 382 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 21 percent from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is up 5 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2 percent, up from 1.7 percent the week prior.

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