Senator Celina Villanueva joins Chicagoans for the opening of the Little Village clinic. All vaccine clinics will be open throughout the month of March.
CHICAGO—The City of Chicago continues to open COVID-19 vaccination clinics in communities across the South and West sides that have been overly burdened by the pandemic as part of its Protect Chicago Plus initiative. The City has partnered with UI Health Mile Square Health Center and Esperanza Health Centers to host new temporary vaccination clinics that serve the Englewood, Chicago Lawn, and Little Village communities.
“The opening of these temporary vaccination clinics is a small victory for the City in the battle against COVID-19 and a huge sigh of relief for members of these communities,” said Sybil Madison, Deputy Mayor of Education and Human Services. “Our community partners and healthcare providers have worked with us and done the heavy lifting required to make the vaccine accessible to as many Chicagoans as possible. This is a big step in ensuring that communities that have been hit hardest by COVID have equitable opportunities to get vaccinated.”
The goal of Protect Chicago Plus is to ensure vaccination rates reflect the demographics of the city, and expanding vaccine access and uptake in Black and Latinx communities that have been most affected by the pandemic. Over the course of the next month, thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to be administered across these sites benefitting some of the city’s most vulnerable populations.
The Protect Chicago Plus vaccine clinic in the Englewood neighborhood is being managed by UI Health Mile Square Health Center and has shown positive growth in its first week of registrations and doses administered to local residents. More than 30 community-based organizations, ward offices, and faith institutions are working together to share information and connect neighborhood residents with appointment registrations – including One Health Englewood, Teamwork Englewood, Antioch Community Social Service Agency, St. Bernard Hospital, Englewood Community Action Council, and the 7th District CAPS among many others.
“Protect Chicago Plus aligns with our vision and mission to improve the health of Chicago’s vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Ian Jasenof, Chief Medical Officer of UI Health Mile Square Health Center, which launched a Protect Chicago Plus temporary vaccine site on March 1 and is administering up to 1,000 doses a week at its clinic in Englewood and in the surrounding areas. “As a designated federally qualified health center, Mile Square is proud to partner with the City of Chicago to ensure that those most impacted by the pandemic have broad access to the COVID-19 vaccine. By operationalizing an effective vaccination program and partnering with the community for outreach and engagement, we can meet the needs of our community members and help provide protection against COVID-19.”
“UI Health is proud to help bring vaccinations to Chicago neighborhoods through our mass vaccination site and through a partnership with Protect Chicago Plus, community-based organizations and our community-based clinics,” said Dr. Janet Lin, an emergency medicine physician at UI Health, which is the health care system of the University of Illinois Chicago. “We believe that a community-focused approach is the best chance we have at engaging individuals with this opportunity and ensuring that the experience is easy and barrier-free. In our first week, not only have we seen positive energy from staff and community members in the actual vaccination areas, but there is also a palpable sense of hope and celebration. Knowing that this effort is rooted in the community is so impactful and this model will be used to stand up additional clinics and event sites in the coming weeks.”
On March 3, Illinois State Senator Celina Villanueva (11th District) visited the opening of the Little Village clinic to receive her first dose of the vaccine and encourage her constituents to do the same.
“It’s really important that people in the community get educated about the various vaccines and when they have the opportunity, they get registered to receive their dose,” said Senator Villanueva. “COVID-19 has hit the [Little Village] community pretty hard over the last year, but now we have the access to help protect the community, our families, and especially our elders. I have taken the first dose of the vaccine and I’m feeling good with no pain. I encourage others to sign up for vaccine appointments when they become available and also to follow-up for their second dose to help ensure the efficacy of the medicine. We’re all in this together and if everyone does their part, we can move closer to some semblance of a new normal.”
The Little Village clinic is being managed by Esperanza Health Centers, which is also serving the West Englewood, Chicago Lawn, and Gage Park communities through the Esperanza Vaccination Center Southwest location.
“Communities like West Englewood and Chicago Lawn have sometimes been forgotten in the grand scheme of greater Chicago, so it is encouraging that during this critical time residents from these areas are being prioritized for access to the vaccine,” said Miguel Blancarte, Jr., Director of COVID-19 Response and Community Outreach with Esperanza Health Centers. “We’re here not only to provide doses of medicine, but also doses of relief and doses of information that can further inform residents – and their families and friends – about the vaccination process, and the importance of receiving the vaccine to improve community health.”
Vaccinations are offered at no cost and by appointment only to people who live in these communities. I.D. and insurance are not required but an address will need to be provided on the day of the appointment.
For the latest information on Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, please visit www.chicago.gov/covidvax.
###Leave a comment