Recent COVID-19 statistics indicate that COVID-19 fatalities have been on the rise in South Shore since the emergence of the Omicron variant. However, it has not deterred a partnership between life-saving organizations, South Shore Hospital and South Shore Works. Together the healthcare institution and nonprofit organization have held vaccination pop-up events for some of the hardest-to-reach populations within the community. South Shore Works reached out to every school in our community (via school administrators and flyer distribution) to inform them of the new vaccine being available for children - ages 5 to 11. We held two vaccination events in December and one in January to introduce to our younger community members and their families.
In December we vaccinated, boosted, and provided the Influenza vaccines in the following: 14 Boosters (Moderna), 14 Pfizers, 13 Moderna, 2 Influenza, and 13 youth. Our vaccination clinics here were supported by our community partners the University of Illinois-College of Pharmacy / the Mobile Care Foundation of Chicago and Chicago Family Health. Thirteen youth were also awarded $25 gift cards for their participation. Gift cards were made possible through a partnership with Partners in Health and the National Institute of Health RECOVER program.
Despite our efforts in December, a sense of hesitancy remained evident in South Shore. Parents were leery when considering vaccinating their children for many good reasons. We honored their position and recommended visiting our website's COVID-19 page as a GOOD source of information. We also advised them to review the materials in our pre-packaged masks and hand sanitizers given to everyone who arrived at the clinics on these days.
In January, our team committed to hosting a vaccination clinic on Martin Luther King Jr's celebrated birthday. Both the hospital and South Shore Works committed a using this day as a day of service to commemorate the late Dr. King. This day of service was especially moving as even more recent data concerning COVID-19 fatalities was showed an increase in South Shore and other Black communities (see graph above).
South Shore Works in partnership with South Shore Hospital and the Local Market Foods, hosted its first vaccination event this new year. More than fifty men, women, and children came to either receive their first vaccination, second vaccination, and/or booster shots. South Shore Hospital also administered two influenza vaccines as well.
· 14 – Boosters
· 19 – 1st Dose Pfizer
· 14 – 2nd Dose Pfizer
· 5 – 1st Dose Moderna
· 2 – Influenza
South Shore Works also distributed KN95, youth, and children’s masks to recipients in addition to $50 Gift Cards to first and second vaccine recipients (excluding booster shots). This monetary gift is made possible by the city of Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation.
South Shore Works is a community leader in CDPH’s Healthy Chicago Equity Zone: Near South Region in which the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation serves as the region lead.