Chicago Public Schools launches its COVID-19 vaccination effort this week, transforming three high schools into clinics to inoculate students before the new school year begins in the fall.
Officials with the nation’s third-largest school district plan to offer full in-person instruction in the fall and want to vaccinate as many students as possible before classes begin next month. District officials said they are “not in a position” to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, but will ask families to submit COVID-19 vaccine documents as is the practice with other vaccinations.
Starting this week, the district will offer vaccines at three school sites for students and their families.
Chicago Vocational Career Academy, located at 2100 E. 87th St. in Avalon Park will be open Tuesdays. Theodore Roosevelt High School, located at 3436 W. Wilson Ave. in Albany Park will be open Wednesdays and Michele Clark High School at 5101 W. Harrison St. in Austin will be open Thursdays, the district says, with all three locations open on their respective days from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
CPS reminded families that the vaccine is free and health insurance is not required to get vaccinated, nor is proof of citizenship.
The sites will be able to administer 600 doses weekly. The district is also working with hospitals for vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates and offering the shots at back-to-school events.
“Schools are trusted pillars of our communities, and as a district we are uniquely suited to help expand vaccination opportunities, which helps create the safest possible learning environments at our schools," interim schools CEO José M. Torres said in a statement announcing the clinics.
More than 50,000 children under the age of 18 have already been vaccinated in Chicago, according to the city’s Department of Public Health.
Roughly 350,000 students attend Chicago Public Schools.