Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, is a cross section of cultures, demographics and lifestyles representing America. But it has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic as hard as any community in the country, particularly among people of color.
Cook County, where the Windy City is located, has seen 499,000 cases and more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she has been fighting back in an attempt to get vaccines distributed and people educated about mitigating the risk of the spread of the disease.
She spoke to BET.com recently to talk about the Protect Chicago Plus initiative that the city has been rolling out to get the vaccine to people who need it in Black and Brown communities, which largely lie on the South and West sides of the city.
Her aim is to address vaccine hesitancy and also make the vaccine available in places where it may have been harder to get access.
“We've been working with a number of community based organizations and partners, really, since the beginning of the pandemic. And we have done a lot to really, I think, reach people, particularly in communities of color that have been hardest hit by the virus,” Lightfoot said. “What that comes down to is we created through our Department of Public Health, a COVID. Impact index, our COVID vulnerability impact index. And what we've done is looked at that data to help guide us where we really needed to make additional targeted interventions to make sure that we were reaching communities that have been hardest hit by COVID.”
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