Chicago Offering Incentives to Get More Residents Vaccinated for COVID-19

In recent weeks, Illinois has experienced a sharp decline in the number of people getting vaccinated.

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In hope of encouraging more Chicagoans to get vaccinated in the fight against COVID-19, city leaders are offering freebies in return.

In the city's Englewood neighborhood Saturday, residents were given free amusement park tickets and haircuts in exchange for getting vaccinated.

"Sometimes you have to give something away for someone to get something," explained barber Travis Berry.

Perry, one of the barbers at the It's Official Barbershop on West 63rd Street, was happy to see that some of the day's patrons were newly-vaccinated.

"The world is opening back up, it’s getting nice," he said. "It’s going to be holidays and just being around your family, getting back to normal is important."

Illinois has experienced a sharp decline in the number of people getting vaccinated in recent weeks. Earlier this year, the state averaged about 100,000 shots a day. The seven-day rolling vaccine average was 36,130 as of Saturday.

Ruby Gomez, who received her vaccination at the It's Official Barbershop, said she's more than ready for the world to feel normal again.

"The only reason why is because I want to go back to normal, I want to go places with my family, and I don’t want to wear masks anymore," she said.

Gomez was treated to a free haircut following her vaccine along with five tickets to Six Flags Great America.

"I think it’s good," she said. "It’s great for the kids to take them somewhere."

In the Chatham neighborhood, Chicago's beloved Josephine "Mother" Wade put on a similar vaccine event called "Rhythm and Brunch."

Visitors were given free meals and listened to live music all while receiving their shots.

"You have to do your part especially if you want to do public things and being around family members especially if you have a grandmother, grandfather," Perry said.

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