Watch CBS News

South Side Church Hosting Free Vaccination Clinic, Offering Gift Cards With Every Shot

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago church is doing its part to save lives in the pandemic, and it will be at it again on Friday, offering yet another free vaccination clinic.

Greater Mount Vernon Baptist Church, at 8700 S. Laflin St., is hosting a free vaccination event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  They're also offering gift cards with every shot.

Pastor Charles Rogers said, thanks to frequent vaccination drives, all but one of his congregants has been fully vaccinated and boosted.

"It means we're doing the good work," he told CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas earlier this week.

"The church is about saving souls, but also saving lives," Rogers added. "What's the point of saving a soul, then losing a life?"

As the Omicron COVID-19 variant spreads rapidly, Pastor Rogers wants to expand his work. So he's teamed up with two other churches—also in areas with below average vaccination rates—to get as many people as possible to this Friday's clinic.

"And we have gift cards from Target as well," Pastor Rogers said.

A nationwide group called Choose Healthy Life donated some of the gift cards.

"We know the folks that are not vaccinated at this point are the most diehard folks that are against vaccination for whatever their personal reasons are," said Carol Bell of Choose Healthy Life. "So we want to encourage with any means we have to get folks vaccinated."

"And we feel that by uniting our forces we can be more effective," added Rogers.

But Pastor Rogers isn't stopping there. He says another pastor on the West Side told him many of his congregants are still unvaccinated.

So Pastor Rogers will help run a clinic there later this month.

"We're trying to get everybody within the city vaccinated," he said.

As for that one remaining congregant here who is vaccinated, but not boosted? His name is Chuck Hawkins, and he will add a line to his vaccine card on Friday.

"I'm actually anxious." Hawkins said. "The hospitals are filling up. Like I say, I'm a barber. I deal with a lot of people, so I want protect myself."

Public health clinicians will be giving out those vaccines on Friday at the church at 87th and Laflin from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

As for the event later this month, that will be on Jan. 21 at the New Home Baptist church on West Polk Street.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.