New vaccination site will be dedicated to essential union workers

Pharmacy resident Rona Jin prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at Mount Sinai Hospital in December.
A new partnership with the city will help union essential workers receive vaccines as the city expands its eligibility requirements. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The site will handle about 1,200 vaccinations every week with the capacity to expand.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced a new vaccination site in partnership with the Chicago Federation of Labor that will help get vaccine doses into the arms of essential union workers.

The announcement on Monday comes as the city expands eligibility requirements to what’s called Phase 1C. That expansion includes residents ages 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions, such as chronic kidney disease or cancer.

It also will allow vaccination of other essential workers who had not previously been eligible.

The vaccination site is at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399, 2260 S. Grove St. It is believed to be the first site in the nation run by the labor movement.

“Since Chicago first received COVID-19 vaccines, our highest priority has been to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents and essential workers as quickly as possible,” said Lightfoot. “Unions are trusted messengers and dedicated advocates for thousands of Chicago’s essential workers, and this collaboration will ensure that workers with the highest need will have access to the vaccine as we enter Phase 1c.”

The site will be able to handle about 1,200 vaccinations every week at first, and has the capacity to expand. Those interested in being vaccinated at the site must live or work in Chicago, hold a current union card or be a union retiree, and qualify under the city’s current eligibility criteria.

Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter said the partnership will help vaccinate thousands of Chicago union workers “across dozens of industries, especially Black and Latinx workers who have been hit especially hard by the virus.”

The labor federation has an ownership stake in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Chicago’s union workers have sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to keep this city moving during this unimaginable crisis,” said Reiter. “The Chicago Federation of Labor is proud to announce this union vaccination site to continue protecting the essential workers who have protected all of us during this pandemic.”

Union members interested should visit for more information or to schedule an appointment.

The expansion of the city’s eligibility list comes on the heels of the state’s growing positivity rate. Public health officials on Monday announced the state’s seven-day positivity rate had jumped to 3.8%, up from 2.9% last week.

State officials also announced 1,761 new coronavirus cases.

Feeds,News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago

via Chicago Sun-Times – All

March 29, 2021 at 12:59PM

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