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Laundromat vaccines? Chicago officials trying to figure out how to find people who still need the shots

Laundromat vaccines? Chicago officials trying to figure out how to find people who still need the shots

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Customers wait for their clothes at a laundromat on March 22, 2020, in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago.

CHICAGO — City health teams might come looking for unvaccinated Chicagoans at the laundromat, the grocery store or driver’s license offices as officials try to increase the rates of people getting the shots.

Chicago is faring well on vaccine rates compared with other big American cities, public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady told aldermen on Monday.

But with the overall weekly numbers of those getting vaccinated falling and the city now having ample supply after months of vaccine shortages, she said the next phase will involve sending teams out to find people when they have time to get shots in their regular day-to-day lives.

“We’ve been working to think about where do these 18- to 40-year-olds, where are they going?” Arwady said. “For the very youngest folks, we’ve been thinking about how to tie some of this to the nightlife, to some of the activities — are there creative ways to do that?”

The White House is still putting the finishing touches on its plan to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, ahead of a climate summit this week with world leaders. This report produced by Jillian Kitchener.

“But for everybody, we are thinking a lot about where does everybody go? Lots of people are going to the laundromat. Lots of people are going to the grocery store. Lots of people are standing in line, right, like at the DMV or the clerk’s office.”

Asked Monday about the cost and effectiveness of big vaccine sites such as the one at the United Center, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it’s time to be more nimble and seek people out, to “bring vaccine closer to residents.”

“And I think where we are, is digging down deeper into areas of the city,” Lightfoot said at a separate event. “And this is particularly true of the Black South Side, which has I think the lowest area of uptick of any of our neighborhoods, we’ve got to do more literally kind of retail door-to-door work of educating people about the safety of the vaccine, why it makes sense for them to get it and then hopefully driving people to the variety of vaccine distribution centers that we’ve gotten.”


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