In January 2021 Chicago City Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Protect Chicago Plus, a targeted COVID-19 vaccination distribution program designed with equity as the central strategy to ensure that vaccines are reaching communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan responds to the uneven distribution of COVID-19 burden on Black and Latinx Chicagoans by focusing on three main strategies:
- Focus vaccine supply and resources on the 15 most-burdened neighborhoods as identified by the City’s COVID Vulnerability Index (CCVI); within each priority neighborhood, the City is partnering with anchor organizations to create a neighborhood task force made up of diverse stakeholders, including grassroot activist organizations, local businesses, faith leaders and local community health providers, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), to develop community-led outreach and distribution strategies.
- Develop vaccination and engagements strategies in partnership with local community stakeholders; this includes resource sharing and assistance with appointment scheduling through strategies such as door-to-door outreach, face-to-face outreach in grocery stores, laundromats, and other high-traffic areas and phone and text banking.
- Remove potential barriers and allow for flexibility in vaccination prioritization to ensure as many people who are most at risk of exposure to and contracting COVID-19 are getting access to vaccines.