A mass vaccination clinic opened in the largest black church in Aurora on Tuesday, focusing on the “fair distribution” of the coronavirus vaccine. More than 750 people are said to receive doses on the first day.
The Black Vax Aurora Community Vaccination Clinic is held in the St. John AME Church of Grace Cathedral, the oldest and largest black church in Aurora, 2950 Bilter Rd.
According to official sources, the clinic is being dosed by both Kane and DuPage County’s health departments.
“I have said from the start that we must deliberately try to vaccinate black and brown Illinois people and communities that have been left out and left behind,” said JB Pritzker, governor of Illinois after visiting the website Tuesday. “We must work consistently to address the health inequalities that have existed for a very long time, long before COVID-19 inequalities that I want to eradicate.”
While registration is mandatory, the event has reached capacity within 24 hours of availability. Further information on registration can be found here.
Registration requirements include:
- EMPLOYMENT: Healthcare, First Responder, Education, Food and Agriculture, Manufacturing, Correction Workers, U.S. Postal Service, Public Transportation Workers, Grocery Store Workers, Shelters / Adult Day Care
- MEDICAL CONDITION: diabetes, obesity, lung disease, smoking, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, immunocompromised, sickle cells, pregnancy, person with a disability
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 2.7% of Kane County’s more than 90,000 vaccines were distributed to the Black Community on Tuesday. Data showed the number is even lower in DuPage County, where black residents received only 2.3% of the roughly 200,000 doses distributed.
Similar trends have been reported across the country.
An early look at 17 states and two cities that caused racial breakdowns by January 25, found that blacks in all locations were vaccinated at levels below their proportion of the total population, in some cases well below that.
This is true even if they make up an oversized percentage of the country’s health care workers who were on the front line for shots when the campaign began in mid-December.
Last month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that white women over 50 accounted for a large portion of the first COVID-19 vaccinations given in the United States.
The divide is deeply worrying for some, as blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans are nearly three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than whites, according to the CDC.
In other parts of Illinois, fair distribution of the vaccine has become a focus.
In Chicago city officials reported that at least half of all cans in the past few weeks went to Black or Latinx residents.
The number nearly triples the statistic reported less than a month ago when the city said only 18% of the doses given at the start of the vaccine rollout went to Black or Latinx Chicagoers, despite being 59 % of the city’s population.
However, according to data since vaccination began, residents of Black and Latinx account for less than 40% of the city’s total first doses.
Officials have since announced plans to open a mass vaccination clinic at the United Center for all Illinois residents in the coming days, with an emphasis on both seniors and justice.