CPS vaccination site in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood opens to public


CHICAGO – A West Side vaccination site opened to the community Sunday, providing doses to anyone willing to stand in line.

Held at Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, the line spanned a block long. Through word of mouth, news spread that the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, a shot that works with just one dose instead of two, was available.

“Another family member let us know,” said vaccine recipient Travis Gumbus.

The Austin-area school is a Chicago Public Schools vaccination site. Today, however, in cooperation with Walgreens, the site was open to the community. One person told WGN she showed up without an appointment. No one asked for her ID, her address, profession, or whether she qualified for the vaccine under Phase 1A and 1B group.

Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city was making senior citizens and essential workers a top priority during a February news conference.

Officials say this is part of an effort to get shots into arms in fifteen neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19, areas where work settings and intergenerational households often drive the virus’ spread.

“Getting vaccinated is important,” said vaccine recipient Manny Rodriquez. “So we figured we’d do our part.”

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