CHICAGO (CBS) -- A week after Mayor Lori Lightfoot set a goal of getting 77% of eligible Chicagoans at least partially vaccinated by the end of the year, the Chicago Department of Public Health reported incremental progress toward reaching that benchmark.
According to CDPH, 72.9% of Chicagoans age 12 and up have now had at least one dose of the vaccine, up from 72.4% one week ago. At that rate, the city would be on track to have at least 77% of eligible Chicagoans receive at least one dose of the vaccine by early December.
City officials said, in the past week, the Austin, Avalon Park, and Grand Boulevard communities reached 60% coverage of first-dose vaccinations for people age 12 and up, while Humboldt Park reached 70%, and Brighton Park reached 77%.
Lightfoot has called the target of 77% vaccination coverage by the end of the year a "modest goal" for Chicago.
"We've got to do more to protect our residents, and we're committed to doing just that," Lightfoot said last week when she announced the initiative, dubbed "Protect Chicago 77."
"COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, it's still here. The Delta variant is still very present, and it is deadly. So we are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination," she added.
The target of 77% is not a random number. It matches the number of official community areas in Chicago.
"We have been making really good progress in Chicago against COVID, and that is thanks to the way our 77 communities have stepped up," Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last week. "The reason we have pegged 77% as a goal here is not that 77% is a magical number in terms of hitting herd immunity, but it reflects those 77 communities."
As part of the initiative, city officials plan a new marketing campaign to call on unvaccinated Chicagoans to get their shots. The city also will work with community groups in each neighborhood to help develop targeted vaccination strategies to help people in every community get vaccinated.
CDPH noted COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available at pharmacies, health care facilities, and at numerous special events across the city. People also can get vaccinated at home through the city's Protect Chicago At Home program, available to anyone age 12 and up. Chicagoans who get vaccinated through the Protect Chicago At Home program can get a $100 Visa gift card.
To learn more, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDvax or call 312-746-4835.
for more features.