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Chicago Public Schools unveils student vaccination program, including three standing sites and mobile clinics

A girl wearing a Chicago shirt stands between two women, one of whom is giving the girl a dose of the COVID vaccine.
A girl receives a COVID-19 vaccination at a Chicago pop up clinic.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Chicago Public Schools will open three school-based COVID-19 vaccination sites for students beginning the week of July 12. The announcement comes a day after Chicago’s teachers union included a demand for student vaccination targets in a preview of its proposal for a fall reopening agreement.

The sites are located at Chicago Vocational Career Academy in Avalon Park, Michele Clark High School in Austin, and Theodore Roosevelt High School in Albany Park, and will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through the summer. At those three locations, CPS hopes to administer up to 600 first doses of the vaccine each week.

In the proposal made public Tuesday, CTU called for the district to vaccinate 80% of students over 12 by Oct. 1 through a mix of home visits and vaccine clinics on school grounds. CTU pressed for a vaccination partnership between the district, CTU, and the Chicago Department of Public Health, but the district is only partnering with the health department, according to Tuesday’s release. CPS hasn’t set a vaccination target yet.

CPS is also holding vaccination events at schools with large numbers of students in temporary living situations and in communities with low vaccination rates, according to Wednesday’s announcement. Times and dates will be determined in partnership with individual schools. District events with high attendance, such as Back-to-School Bashes and Freshman Connection, will also have district-backed vaccination opportunities. In the fall, CPS plans to set up standing school-based vaccination sites according to neighborhood vaccine rates and student need.

The district can’t mandate vaccination — only the state’s department of public health has that authority. But families will be asked to submit notice of their student’s COVID-19 vaccination status along with information about other regular childhood immunizations at the start of the school year.

CPS launched staff vaccination sites in February. About 78% of district staff is fully or partially vaccinated, based on self-reported data from the start of July.

Here’s the district’s page with information for families to register for a school-based vaccine appointment. No proof of insurance or citizenship status will be required to receive the vaccine, which is free. And here’s the city’s calendar of COVID-19 vaccination events.

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