Protect Chicago Plus is helping high-risk neighborhoods get vaccinated fast. But CBS 2 found the Chicago zip code with the worst vaccination rate isn't even in the program. It's zip code 60827. CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports.
BRAD EDWARDS: Vaccine program called Protect Chicago Plus is helping high risk neighborhoods get vaccinated fast.
IRIKA SARGENT: But we found the Chicago zip code with the worst vaccination rate isn't even in the program. Right here, zip code 60827, that includes the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood where CBS 2's Marie Saavedra is live. Marie.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Brad and Irika, the city looked at things like COVID numbers, the number of essential workers living in an area, and also how dense the population was to find those 15 communities that at this point are making up Protect Chicago Plus. But this area is not part of that. Still, their vaccination numbers are dead last. And now the Alderman wants help.
ANTHONY BEALE: We have been aggressively trying to vaccinate the people in the community.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: The job of getting shots in arms is one Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale says he's taking seriously. March 16th, 1,000 of his South Side residents got their first dose at this community center. But that was one highlight in an otherwise desolate spot. This is a low income area with majority minority neighborhoods and yet it's COVID numbers did not qualify it to be one of the 15 hard hit communities now getting targeted vaccine efforts through the Protect Chicago Plus program.
ANTHONY BEALE: If you look at all the city's information, 60827 is not even on the map.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: That Ninth Ward zip code that covers Altgeld Gardens is on this map from our CBS Chicago vaccine tracker, showing it has the lowest percentage of the population fully vaccinated in the entire city, just 0.5% as of Monday. Its neighbors Roseland and South Deering are part of Protect Chicago Plus, but this zip code is not.
DR. ALLISON ARWADY: You're going to be hearing more about new and creative things that we'll be doing to bring vaccine to under vaccinated communities.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: We asked Dr. Allison Arwady if communities showing low vaccine rates could be added to those first 15 in Protect Chicago Plus.
DR. ALLISON ARWADY: We certainly will maintain focus on there, but we'll be pulling in where have we seen data related to lower vaccination rates.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: The data here shows the problem. It'll be up to Chicago's Department of Public Health how to attack it. Alderman Beale hopes there is a plan, and soon.
ANTHONY BEALE: My seniors are not going to get on the bus, get on the L, and go down to the United Center. We have to bring the vaccination to the people.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Doctor Arwady said that communities like this one can expect more outreach as the Department of Public Health looks at this data and also as eligibility expands in the city, with 1C beginning next Monday. Live in zip code 60827, Marie Saavedra, CBS 2 News.