The City of Chicago is teaming up with Lawndale Christian Health Center to set up a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Homan Square Community Center, 3517 W. Arthington St., starting Feb. 22. The site will be open to all adults.
The vaccination site is part of Protect Chicago Plus initiative, which was created to make sure that 15 communities that have been especially hard-hit by COVID-19 have a chance to get vaccinated. The list includes North Lawndale, Austin and Humboldt Park, but not West Garfield Park and East Garfield Park.
While most vaccination sites restrict the vaccines in accordance to Phase 1b guidelines, which excludes most adults who aren’t seniors or essential workers, this site will be open to all neighborhood residents.
The temporary site was announced during the North Lawndale Community Vaccination Conversation on Feb. 15. The online forum was organized by the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC).
Since then, the city has been tight-lipped about the details, promising to reveal more during the Feb. 20 online forum scheduled for 1 p.m.
Protect Chicago Plus plans to set up similar temporary vaccine sites in Austin in early March and in Humboldt Park in late March.
Protect Chicago Plus was established amid the growing concerns that more vaccinations are happening in majority-white neighborhoods than in majority-Black and majority-Brown neighborhoods that have seen higher rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
According to data presented by the Sinai Urban Health Institute, there are significant vaccination disparities in West Side vaccination zip codes.
As of Feb. 15, around 8 percent of all Chicagoans received at least one vaccine dose. In zip code 60608, which includes portions of North Lawndale east of California Avenue and portions of Little Village and the Near West Side further south and west, 7.5 percent of residents got vaccinated.
At zip code 60612, which includes portions of East Garfield Park east of Kenzie Avenue and parts of North Lawndale north of Roosevelt Road, 9.3 percent of residents got vaccinated.
By contrast, at zip code 60623, which includes the remaining portions of North Lawndale south of Roosevelt Road and most of Little Village, 4.6 percent of residents got vaccinated.
At zip code 60624, which includes West Garfield Park and the rest of East Garfield Park and North Lawndale, 3.9 percent of the residents got vaccinated. Protect Chicago Plus’ vaccination site falls within that zip code.
During the Feb. 15 forum, Sybil Madison, the city’s deputy mayor for education and human services, said that the 15 communities were chosen because they have large numbers of residents who face higher risk of getting infected due to either their jobs, their existing health issues or who aren’t connected to a healthcare provider.
“Protect Chicago Plus ensures that we’re getting vaccines and city resources to communities that experienced high burdens of COVID,” Madison said. “In those communities, we’re partnering with community-based organizations, leaders and trusted members of the community to bring the vaccine to those communities.”
Madison said that the vaccine sites “are designed for those who live in the community,” but she didn’t share any further details about the vaccination site, including how to sign up and how long the site will be open, saying that more information will be presented during the Feb. 20 forum.
The Chicago Department of Public Health didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline.
To register for the Feb. 20 town hall, visit https://bit.ly/2NveYk8.
For more information about Protect Chicago Plus, visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/protect-chicago.html.