Chicago health officials hosted a mobile vaccination site in the city's South Austin neighborhood early Saturday afternoon, providing both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.
The Chicago Department of Public Health said the bus was parked at 5058 W. Adams St. from 11 a.m. to noon for local residents, but volunteers will travel door-to-door offering the vaccine.
CDPH officials noted that the first 200 people vaccinated would receive a free meal from Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken.
Chicago is on track to be "fully open" by the Fourth of July holiday, the city's mayor announced this week.
During a press conference Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot said the city aims to be "one of the first cities to fully and safely reopen in the nation."
"Every day that our COVID-19 metrics continue to tick downward, raises the day closer to be able to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, and we are too close to accomplishing this mission to give up now," Lightfoot said. "Our goal, ladies and gentlemen, is to be fully open by July, 4. I am working night and day toward this goal, as is our public health department, but we and I need you to continue to be on this journey with us, and that means getting vaccinated now, as soon as possible."
According to state health officials, "Chicago has made significant progress in reversing the rise in COVID-19 metrics that started in March and caused the city to pause the reopening plan."
“We have seen steady progress in recent weeks with a downward trend in our leading COVID metrics and more and more people stepping up to get vaccinated, which is so important in getting us out of this pandemic,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “That has made this exciting day possible.”
Chicago has announced plans to also enter a bridge phase in the coming weeks if metrics continue their downward trend. The city most recently announced changes to its reopening plan last week, expanding capacity at a number of businesses and allowing for the return of fans in the stands at the United Center.
Among the changes that took effect Thursday were:
- Restaurants and bars: Indoor capacity can increase to the lesser of 50% or 100 people.
- Spectator events, theater, and performing arts: Large indoor venues, including the United Center, can now operate at 25% capacity.
- Meetings, conferences, and conventions: Large indoor venues can now operate at the lesser of 25% or 250 people.
- Places of worship: Large indoor venues can now operate at 25% capacity.
- Festivals and general admission outdoor spectator events: Operate at 15 people per 1,000 sq. ft.
- Flea and farmers markets: Operate at 25% capacity or 15 people per 1,000 sq. ft.