Cook County Health to continue vaccine outreach as Delta variant spreads


CHICAGO — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle discussed the current state of vaccinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to push to get more shots into arms.

Just under 60 percent of suburban Cook County residents are fully vaccinated right now, amounting to approximately 1 million people. The vaccination goal remains in the 70 to 80 percent range.

The reasons many still haven’t been vaccinated include lack of transportation, inability to take off work and language barriers.

Health officials recognize the waning demand in the larger vaccine sites.

At one point, 4,000 people were receiving shots every day, a number that has now dwindled to 100 to 150 people each day.

Cook County Health will soon be closing the Forest Park site on July 20 and the Matteson site on July 21. There have been 300 mobile clinics in more than 30 of the most vulnerable communities, but more outreach work is needed.

“The easy part is over. Our focus is now on changing hearts and minds, educating and encouraging those not vaccinated to get one,” Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said..

Cook County Health plans to continue bringing vaccines directly to homes through trusted partners while also exploring mandating vaccines for Cook County Health hospital employees.

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