Chicago takes new approach to vaccinate hard-to-reach residents

The Chicago Health Department is hoping people off work for Memorial Day can get vaccinated while they are out and about.

Video Transcript

SARAH SCHULTE: Beaches and barbecue are signs Memorial Day traditions are back. Except for this pandemic reminder in the background of vaccination bus. The city of Chicago's pop up mobile vaccination sites, a converted CTA bus, rolled in to 31st Street in North Avenue beaches today.

BELINDA KING: I was not going to get it. But since it was close to my home, I decided to come out.

SARAH SCHULTE: To combat hesitancy, the city of Chicago is changing its vaccination strategy by closing mass vaccination sites and concentrating on specific sites and neighborhoods. The idea is to make it as convenient as possible for people.

ANTHONY COOPER: It was right down the street. I haven't gotten it yet. Just thought it was time.

SARAH SCHULTE: Besides beaches, one of the buses went to familiar territory today. The 95th Street CTA Station. 17-year-old Nolan Adams got the shot before hopping back on the red line.

NOLAN ADAMS: It's easy because you could just walk right up. You don't have to make an appointment. You don't have to do all that extra stuff.

SARAH SCHULTE: Just over 50% of city residents have received one dose. But the rate is much lower among African-Americans. Deborah Siggers admits she was hesitant. But the 64-year-old says the convenience of the bus and the incentive to see family drove her to get the one shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine today.

DEBORAH SIGGERS: My relatives told me I couldn't come to their home. And I was-- I'm going on vacation. And I want to go and visit my family members. And they wanted me to have the shot.

SARAH SCHULTE: The vaccination buses will continue to pop up during the next few weeks at sites and neighborhoods, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. The city is hoping the mobile vaccination sites will help reach the National goal of 70% of the population vaccinated by July.