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Major Push On To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination In Chicago's Black And Brown Communities

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The numbers don't lie - whites are more than twice as likely as Blacks and Latinos to get the coronavirus vaccine in Chicago.

So as CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reported Tuesday, now the push is on to spread a potentially life-saving message.

Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) said when it comes to COVID-19, many in the community haven't even been tested for the virus - much less signed up to get vaccinated against it.

Since last Friday, nearly 800 people have lined up at the Walmart Supercenter at 4650 W. North Ave. in the North Austin neighborhood to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Austin, on the West Side of Chicago, has been among the hardest-hit communities when it comes to coronavirus.

"Most of them don't even think - particularly our younger generation - that COVID exists," Ald. Mitts said.

Mitts said the immunization clinic is needed in the community - especially when it comes to protecting seniors.

Many younger people have been asymptomatic when it comes to COVID-19, so hence even more the urgency to make sure they get vaccinated. But there are things standing in the way.

"They'll listen to their peers, and they don't think it's safe to take the vaccine," Mitts said. "I felt so much better when I got the shot, and I assume, that's why everybody's lined up out there. They want to feel that sense of hope!"

City of Chicago data show one in 14 whites have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. When it comes to Blacks and Latinos, only about one in 30 have gotten it.

Rev. Robin Hood was among them. And he said around 26 or 27 people he knows have passed away from COVID-19.

Hood calls the west side community of North Lawndale home - which has the zip code of 60623. Hood said the Chicago ZIP code has been one of the worst when it comes to COVID-19 cases and deaths.

"It is hugely important that people take the vaccine in this community," Mitts said.

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine:


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