Chicago Department of Public Health Redoubling Efforts to Get Seniors their COVID-19 Vaccines

October 29, 2021

Latinx seniors in particular lag behind other groups in vaccine up-take

COVID-19 Joint Information Center    media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

 

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health today announced a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging even more Chicago seniors to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including the launch of a marketing campaign featuring real stories of Chicago seniors who made the choice to get vaccinated. While vaccination rates in Chicago are steadily increasing, rates among seniors, especially those 70 and older, continue to lag.

In all, 76.6 percent of Chicagoans age 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, just 60 percent of Latinx Chicagoans age 65 and older have received at least one shot, compared to 71 percent of Black and 77 percent of White Chicago seniors. Overall, Chicagoans in their 50s are the most vaccinated group, and CDPH would like to see greater up-take among those older.

“Data continues to show that seniors are at greatest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, and vaccination offers the best protection,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We need to do everything we can to ensure that Chicago’s senior population is protected from COVID-19.”

CDPH’s efforts to get even more Chicago seniors vaccinated include:

  •  A marketing campaign called Neighbors for Life that features stories of real seniors who have chosen to get vaccinated explaining why, alongside volunteers who have worked to connect seniors with vaccines. Watch their stories here. Media interested in downloading clips of the stories for their use should reach out to media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org. In addition to telling real stories, the campaign invites seniors to call the City’s COVID-19 Hotline at 312-746- 4835 to learn about the vaccine, get their questions answered, and otherwise get support in receiving a vaccine.

 

  •  Greeting cards sent to seniors in communities across the city with the lowest vaccination rates, in partnership with AARP Illinois. The cards remind seniors how easy it is to get vaccinated through Protect Chicago At Home, which brings vaccines straight to your door. In addition to the direct mailing, cards will be distributed by Meals on Wheels and through select community partners.

 

  •  The City is reaching out to individuals who received in-home vaccinations throughout the duration of the Protect Chicago At Home program to begin scheduling in-home appointments for booster doses, starting with homebound Chicagoans and seniors who received in-home vaccinations earliest. To make an appointment for in-home vaccination, call (312) 746-4835 or register at Chicago.gov/AtHome.

 

“AARP Illinois commends the Chicago Department of Public Health for these efforts to make sure residents – especially older adults – are able to get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and stay protected from this harsh virus,” said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. “We urge all eligible Chicagoans to get vaccinated and get their booster shot to keep healthy and help put an end to this pandemic once and for all.” In addition to first doses, CDPH is also encouraging seniors to receive a COVID-19 booster dose. “As important as it is to encourage seniors to start their COVID-19 vaccine series, I also want everyone over age 65 to get a booster,” said Dr. Arwady. “While vaccines continue to do a fantastic job of preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19, we have seen some fall off in protection is those who are in the oldest age groups or who have underlying medical conditions – and that’s where boosters can be beneficial.”

Approximately 214,800 seniors in Chicago who received a COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible for a booster, and 26 percent have received one.

All COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster doses are free, no insurance or government ID required.

 

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