The Johnson & Johnson shot was placed into 1000 arms, at a first-come-first-served COVID-19 vaccination drive on the city of Chicago’s West Side Sunday.
A gym at Rising Sun Missionary Baptist Church served as a COVID-19 vaccination site. With resources from the Austin-area church, Congressman Danny Davis’s office, Howard Brown Health, and Near North Health Service, guidance navigating the registration system was provided and this short-term clinic was established. It’s part of an ongoing effort by health officials and community leaders to combat the virus in the city’s hardest-hit communities.
“I feel fine, no pain,” said vaccine recipient Felicia Carthans. “I didn’t want to take it, but my mom said she was going to take it and I had to come too.”
The clinic was open Sunday to Chicago residents age 18 and older – by walk-up or appointment and no insurance was required.
This clinic, the second one in recent weeks, came as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. Officials say the spike in confirmed cases creates concerns of a third wave.
“We know that people really want to get to what they consider normal, but this is not a normal setting. This is not a normal time,” said Dr. James Miller, Chairman of Rising Sun Missionary Baptist Church. “So we have to be really vigilant and really make certain that we are doing all the things that we can do.”
Prior to Sunday, the church and health organizations had vaccinated 4,000 people. Hundreds more waited Sunday, eager to protect themselves and others against COVID.
Vaccine recipient Willie Odom said, “Sometimes you have to lead by example. So I hope that by me doing it, some will follow.”