Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health today announced Protect Chicago 77 – a new, citywide community engagement campaign to ensure that at least 77 percent of all Chicago residents ages 12 and up have started their COVID-19 vaccination series by the end of the year. All Chicagoans are encouraged to take the Protect Chicago 77 pledge, promising to do their part to Protect Chicago and help the city recover from the pandemic.
“Getting vaccinated remains the best way to be protected against COVID-19 and its variants, and to protect your loved ones and community,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “That’s why I’m taking the Protect Chicago 77 pledge and I encourage everyone else to do so as well so we can reach a citywide vaccination rate of 77 percent. From stopping the spread of vaccine misinformation, to supporting businesses in one’s community that make vaccine safety a priority, or even talking to that reluctant family member about why it’s so important to step up at this moment, every resident can do something meaningful to help us reach this vital vaccination milestone.”
Currently, more than 1.6 million – or 72.4 percent – of Chicagoans age 12 and up have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Protect Chicago 77 is designed to engage people in all of the city’s 77 designated community areas to get vaccinated and encourage others to do so.
“We’re all in this together, and when one area of the city falls behind on vaccination it impacts all of us,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “From the very beginning, we’ve seen that it is not only essential to provide easy access to vaccination, but it is equally important that the unvaccinated hear from trusted community voices about why they chose to get vaccinated. Those two factors have helped our numbers trend upward. We want to celebrate these businesses, communities, and Chicagoans who are joining this movement to make our city safer for everyone.”
Equity has been at the center of the City’s vaccine roll-out from the beginning and remains so as part of Protect Chicago 77. Working closely with local community stakeholders to develop tailored vaccination and engagement strategies to help residents in those neighborhoods get vaccinated has always been key to the City’s equitable COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Bringing even more partners on board to support this work – residents, businesses, organizations, and healthcare providers – will be key to reaching the Protect Chicago 77 goal of having at least 77 percent of adults and eligible children in the city with at least one dose of the vaccine by Dec. 31, 2021.
“Historically our communities have lagged behind on a variety of issues related to the social determinants of health due to a lack of access,” said Carlos Nelson, CEO of Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation. “The Protect Chicago 77 initiative removes the barrier of access and utilizes community members with deep roots in the community to help deliver vaccination education and vaccines to help save lives.”
The City will offer resources to help partners in this effort:
- Videos offering tips to help individuals talk to their friends and family about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Weekly updates on neighborhood progress to 77 percent, shared at Chicago.gov/COVIDvax, which will include stories from real Chicagoans on their decision to get vaccinated, and more.
- A marketing campaign – Vax-Chi-Nation, which calls on Chicagoans to harness their love for the city, love for family, and love for each other as a motivation to get vaccinated.
- Local businesses, like United Airlines, that have put in place policies requiring vaccination to keep both their employees and customers safe are invited to complete an online survey to be self-certified and earn a badge that can be displayed in their place of business.
“As Chicago’s hometown airline, we applaud the city’s efforts to get more people vaccinated. It’s clear that’s the most effective way to protect people, which is why we’ve required vaccines for all our U.S. employees,” said United President Brett Hart. “We know the decision to get vaccinated is a difficult one for some, but we also know that everyone is safer when vaccinated.”
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, health care facilities, and through special events across the city at no cost to the public. Through CDPH’s Protect Chicago At Home program, anyone 12 and over can receive a vaccination in their home. No insurance or government ID is required to receive a free COVID-19 vaccination anywhere. To learn more, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDvax or call 312-746-4835.
This press release was provided by the Chicago Department of Public Health.