CHICAGO — City officials announced Tuesday they would expand their home vaccination program to all residents 12 and up, and throw in dinner on the house as well.
Beginning this week, Chicagoans can book appointments to have a team of health professionals come to their house or apartment unit and administer the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, depending on a person’s age. Public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady announced the initiative on Tuesday, adding that a $50 Grubhub gift card will be given to those who take advantage starting Monday.
Prior to Tuesday, only homebound individuals could receive their vaccination this way. Arwady said at a press conference that up to 10 people can be vaccinated at each household and each family will be given one gift card. The food delivery service donated $100,000 to the city for the initiative.
“Let’s make it an event,” Arwady said.
The announcement comes in light of the latest delta variant emerging in Chicago. The contagious COVID-19 variant was first reported in India, and at least 70 cases in the city have been detected in the city, officials reported.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, delta cases are concentrated in Chicago, specifically in neighborhoods with the least vaccinated people. Arwardy told reporters the department really wants to focus on the 65-and-up population of residents, as that category lags behind the national vaccination rate.
“We also know a lot of people are tired of talking about COVID,” Arwady said, but added that many people she’s spoken to are still not aware the vaccine is free. “Let’s really get rid of any barriers we can think of to access.”
Other incentives include Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s million-dollar vaccine lottery that is open to anyone who has received at least one dose of a vaccine and the city’s offer of a free Lollapalooza pass, which Arwady said will hopefully draw more young people.