Mayor Lightfoot Joins CDPH, CPS, and LOCAL Children Hospitals to Encourage Vaccination of Children and Their Families
The mayor encourages Chicagoans to “Protect your health on the 12th" and Get Vaccinated
CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., local pediatricians and leaders at Comer Children’s Hospital in a call-to-action for children and adults alike to get their COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose. With federal approval this week allowing all children ages 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the City and its many healthcare and community partners are re-doubling efforts to get all Chicagoans vaccinated ahead of the holidays and the onset of cold weather.
“Pediatric vaccines give parents and guardians the opportunity to ensure the safety of their young ones, which in turn will not only make the spaces in which they interact with others safer, but propel us toward accomplishing our citywide goal of vaccinating as many of our residents as possible,” said Mayor Lightfoot, who gathered with partners at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. “To make it even easier to connect residents of all ages to the vaccine, the City is allowing employees to take time to get themselves or their families vaccinated on November 12th. While you don’t have to wait until that day to get your child or yourself vaccinated, we’re taking these special steps to ensure people have the time to get it done and encourage other institutions and private businesses to follow the City's example."
To ensure all eligible students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, CPS schools will be closed on Friday, November 12 for Vaccination Awareness Day. This is an opportunity for parents and guardians to take their children age 5 and older to get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office, at a healthcare provider, or a CPS school-based site, or community vaccination event. CPS is working with the Chicago Park District and other partners regarding providing safe spaces for students and families who may need it on this day.
Libraries and Parks will be open November 11 and 12. Libraries will provide computer access, grab-n-go kits, information about the vaccines, and promote library cards in addition to City Key cards. Parks will have Drop and Play on November 12 and specific sites with programming in their North, Central, and South regions. For additional information regarding Vaccine Awareness Day visit https://www.cps.edu/.
The City of Chicago is giving City employees two hours early release on November 12 to get COVID-19 vaccines for themselves and their families. Under the City of Chicago’s Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, the testing option is only available through December 31, 2021. Beginning January 1, 2022, employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption.
“We are setting aside Nov. 12 to help as many students ages 5 and older get vaccinated as possible,” said CPS CEO Martinez. “This is an important investment in the future of this school year and the health and well-being of our students, staff and families. I hope to see our students at our CPS health care sites or with other providers on Vaccination Awareness Day.”
Pediatric vaccine doses are here and being administered in Chicago, with more being delivered in the coming weeks. Parents can find more information about the COVID-19 and vaccination locations at www.chi.gov/YouthVax.
“Youth across the city have already started getting their vaccines – at doctor’s offices, children’s hospitals, clinics, and more,” said CDPH’s Dr. Arwady. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect families from COVID-19, especially as we near the winter months and holiday season. We're going to be able to gather in ways that were just not safe last year, and that is primarily because of the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Clinical trials, with thousands of volunteers, showed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective for children age 5 and up. As with all COVID-19 vaccines, every study, every phase, and every trial to determine the vaccine is safe for children was reviewed by the FDA and a vaccine safety group. The CDC continues to monitor the vaccine for safety but has identified no concerns around long-term impacts of the vaccine.
“As children’s health care providers, we’ve been excitedly waiting for this latest phase in the country’s vaccine rollout,” said John Cunningham, M.D., Physician-in-Chief at UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. “Providing young children with the COVID-19 vaccine’s much-needed protection is a critically important step in our pandemic recovery. Not only will it protect them, but it will provide another important layer of virus protection to our community, especially as we head into the winter months.”
There are many ways for children to get vaccinated:
- Family health care providers– CDPH recommends families first reach out to their pediatrician or family medical provider to see if appointments are available.
- CPS sites– CPS’ regional vaccination clinics and mobile school-based events will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11 starting on Wednesday, November 10th.
- Local pharmacies– Across the city, many pharmacy locations already have vaccines and more will receive doses in the coming weeks. Each has their own registration.
- Walgreens: Register online, call your local Walgreens or 1-800-WALGREENS (1-800-925-4733)
- CVS: Register online, call your local CVS or 1-800-679-9691
- Mariano's: Register online
- Walmart: Call 833-886-0023, Option 1
- Chicago Costco Pharmacies: Register online for an appointment or call a pharmacy directly.
- Select children’s hospitalswill host pediatric vaccine events – check hospital websites for dates and more information.
- CDPH will host family vaccination clinics at City Colleges of Chicago. These events will offer pediatric COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines, as well as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and booster doses to all Chicagoans. You must be 18 or older to receive a J&J vaccine. All clinics will be open 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Registration is required and will begin on Nov. 5 at http://www.chi.gov/YouthVax.
- Saturday, November 13 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, November 14 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, November 20 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, November 21 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, December 4 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, December 5 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, December 11 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, December 12 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, December 18 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, December 19 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
- Saturday, January 8 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, January 9 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
- Starting November 15, CDPH’s in-home vaccination program, Protect Chicago At Home, will also offer pediatric vaccination for all children age 5 to 11. Make an at-home appointment at www.chicago.gov/AtHome or by calling 312.746.4835.
- Standing CDPH immunization clinics will also offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only. This includes:
- Uptown WIC located at 845 W. Wilson Ave., 2nd Level (call 312 742-3227 for an appointment)
- Greater Lawn WIC located at 4150 W. 55th St. (call 312 745-1477 for an appointment).
- Starting November 15, all CDPH-sponsored community events will offer pediatric vaccinations. For the calendar of community events, visit www.chicago.gov/VaxCalendar.
All 5-to-11-year-olds will be eligible for $100 in Visa gift cards ($50 card for each dose) when receiving their vaccine at CDPH events or clinics. Please note, booster doses, while available at CDPH events and through Protect Chicago At Home, do not qualify for incentives.
In April, Mayor Lightfoot passed the Vaccine Anti-Retaliation ordinance which prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for taking time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Employers cannot require workers to get the vaccine only during off-shift hours and must allow workers to use accrued paid sick leave or paid time off to get the vaccine during shift hours. Employers that require their workers to be vaccinated must compensate workers for the time taken during a shift to get the vaccine.
Chicago’s private businesses and other institutions are encouraged to give their employees adequate time off to get a COVID booster or take their children, family member, or loved ones to get vaccinated.
At most vaccination locations, parents must accompany the child. Exceptions include CPS school-located vaccination clinics, school-based health centers, and some healthcare providers with signed consent forms from a parent or guardian. All COVID-19 vaccinations are free, no insurance or government ID required. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and find vaccines for your family at www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.