CHICAGO — The city will bring coronavirus vaccination tents to festivals and block parties this summer, among other efforts to make it easier for people to get shots.
Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said this is the first week where supply of vaccine doses could outpace demand. Officials are looking at ways to make it easier for people to get their shots.
Among their ideas: The city could create Vax & Relax events where people could go to places like salons or barber shops. They’d be able to get their shots and get a service — like having their nails done — for free, Arwady said.
The city is also looking at setting up vaccination tents and vans at events like block parties and festivals this summer, Arwady said.
More than 2 million vaccine doses have been given in Chicago so far, and the city has made “amazing progress,” Arwady said. But she said the city still has a way’s to go in terms of vaccinating people and ending the pandemic.
“We all want to put this behind us, and getting people vaccinated is the way to do it,” Arwady said.
City data shows 1,876,041 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans, and 2,040,123 doses have been administered in the city overall. About 43 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot, while 28.5 percent have completed their vaccination. Among Chicagoans 65 and older, about 65.1 percent have gotten at least one dose, while 53.8 percent have finished their vaccination.
The city is looking at how it can slowly reopen more as people are getting their shots, as well, Arwady said.
An average of 548 cases of COVID-19 are being reported daily in Chicago. That means the city is still considered high-risk — but that risk is increasingly going to be on people who haven’t gotten their shots, Arwady said.
As vaccine availability has widened, it’s appropriate for the city to look at reopening, she said. She said officials expect to be “turning the dial” and reopening, with more information about those changes coming soon.
“I suspect we will have some version of these activities we love” over the summer, Arwady said.
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