As coronavirus cases continue to rise in both Illinois and the United States, pressure for successful vaccines to receive their vaccines is mounting.
In Chicago, several COVID vaccination campaigns took place on Saturday, with the aim of giving underserved and hesitant communities access to vaccines.
The Rev. Walter Turner, the pastor of New Spiritual Light MB Church, hosted such a campaign on Saturday.
âThe South Shore community is at the top of the list with people affected by COVID,â he said. “We want to make sure that we are raising awareness to let our community know that they need to be vaccinated.”
Long lines were seen at the event, with freebies ranging from iPads and appliances to sports tickets and free food.
âWe probably have over $ 250,000 in items that we donate at every event,â said Reverend John Harrell of Black Men United.
Many leaders are learning that vaccine reluctance is only a small part of the challenge of getting unvaccinated residents to seek out vaccines. A lack of trust is also to blame, according to these leaders, and accessibility and pre-existing relationships with those providing the treatment are seen as keys to overcoming barriers.
âWe are trying to do our best to bridge this confidence gap and tell parents and families that this is the right thing for their families and children to do,â said Nate Pietrini, Executive Director of High Jump Group.
David Hunt, 22, was one of many residents who received his COVID vaccine on Saturday. He says he did it to help protect his family, and because the shots were offered not far from his home in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.
âI just want everything to get back to normal and overall to keep everyone safe,â he said.
Illinois recently reported more than 860 new cases of coronavirus in a single day, its highest single-day total in nearly two months. The state is not alone in this regard, as new weekly COVID cases have tripled in the past month nationwide, showing a further potential increase in cases federal and state officials may soon have to deal with. face.
In order to curb this trend, local leaders are working to convince the unconvinced to get vaccinated, hoping to avoid further COVID restrictions down the line.
âIt hurts my heart to see our community continue to look at the myths that exist here, the misconceptions that exist here and not learn how to save their lives,â Turner said.
In the coming weeks, similar vaccination campaigns are planned in many locations across Chicago. Even CTA’s bus and train stations will join the action, as leaders ensure all residents have easy access to treatment.