Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer at the JLM Abundant Life Center on the city’s Near West Side to kick off the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Vaccine Faith Initiative. Over the next three weeks, more than 10,000 Chicagoans from more than 70 different houses of worship across the city will be vaccinated at clinics run by Walgreens.
“Strong partnerships with trusted community organizations – like our faith communities across the city – allow us to meet people where they are and connect them to vaccine,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “It’s these partnerships, and relationships with providers like Walgreens, that have allowed us to ensure that vaccination rates reflect the demographics of the city.”
Walgreens will administer the vaccines at 13 vaccine clinics hosted across every weekend throughout the remainder of April. This effort is part of its Vaccine Equity Initiative, an effort to increase equitable access to vaccinations, provide education to address vaccine hesitancy, and create partnerships that best meet the needs of each community. The Initiative also includes hosting off-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics in more than 100 underserved communities across the nation as well as expanding access to COVID testing at more than 5,000 Walgreens pharmacy locations with more than half of the sites located in socially vulnerable areas.
“Walgreens has been – and will continue to be – deeply committed to doing our part to keep all communities healthy across America,” said Brewer. “We’re very grateful for the opportunity to work with the COVID-19 Vaccine Faith Initiative, since partnerships with local governments, community organizations and faith groups can make all the difference in earning trust and participation, particularly in communities of color.”
The Faith Initiative’s ecumenical, multifaith citywide approach will partner with Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic faiths in an effort to reach high- to moderate-risk communities and populations, especially those that have not been a part of prior City-sponsored equity initiatives.
“We are delighted to host the kick-off event for Chicago’s Vaccine Faith Initiative,” said Pastor Johnny Miller, who leads Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, host of Saturday’s event. “The leaders and members of faith-based communities all across the city have been excited and anxious to receive our vaccinations. Although many of us have been conducting services virtually, we miss being able to fellowship all together…under one roof. Getting the vaccine is a critical first step to getting back to normal.”
As part of their collaborative agreement, the City of Chicago and Walgreens are working in partnership with Uber to help get individuals to their appointments. Faith organizations will use Uber technology to schedule rides for individuals who have a need for transportation and have a scheduled appointment.
Vaccinations are offered at no cost and by appointment only to people who live in these communities. Identification and insurance are not required, but proof of address will need to be provided on the day of the appointment. For the latest information on Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, please visit www.chicago.gov/covidvax.