As COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in Illinois, Chicago kids get their COVID, flu shots

A free clinic organized by People’s Resource Network and the Chicago Department of Public Health at a Pilsen school’s gym saw about a dozen children receiving free COVID-19 vaccines. The clinic also offered flu and other childhood vaccines, with a goal of increasing immunization rates among underserved populations.

COVID-19 hospitalization rates have been rising in Illinois, prompting Health officials to encourage residents to get booster shots and flu vaccines in preparation for the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 20% increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions in Illinois, with similar increases in flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases.

Dr. Howard Ehrman, the co-founder of People’s Resource Network, emphasized the importance of distributing vaccines to underserved communities, as they generally have lower immunization rates and therefore face higher risks of getting sick. He warned of declining vaccination rates for measles, mumps, and rubella, and stressed the significance of community-wide protection through vaccination.

The clinic is part of ongoing efforts by the People’s Resource Network to provide vaccines and resources to the community, with more clinics planned for the future. The group is advocating for the “Take Vaccine to the People Chicago” Ordinance to provide additional resources to the Department of Public Health.

The event also saw adults, including Sofia Lemus’ father, receiving COVID-19 and flu vaccines to protect the Health of both themselves and their community. Their efforts align with historical public Health campaigns to increase vaccination rates and protect public Health. By providing access to vaccines and advocating for community-wide protection, the People’s Resource Network is working towards a healthier, safer Chicago.

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