Quenjana Adams, email@example.com
Today, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that it has teamed up with Walgreens and community partners across Chicago to remind Chicagoans that “It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot” and launch the first Vaccinate Chicago Week, which runs December 2 through December 8. During Vaccinate Chicago Week, Chicagoans can find flu vaccine clinics right in their neighborhoods – with many offering free flu shots.
“It’s important for people across the city to take steps that keep them healthy in every season, and the City is working year-round to ensure that Chicagoans have access to what they need to improve and maintain their health,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “After launching an interactive online tool to help Chicagoans find flu shot locations, we are now increasing partnerships to provide additional opportunities for people to get a flu shot right in their own neighborhood.”
This is the City’s first Vaccinate Chicago Week and it encourages Chicagoans to get a flu shot at a time when they may be at greater risk of getting the flu, as influenza activity most often peaks in January and February in the U.S. CDPH urges every Chicagoan over 6 months of age to get a flu shot to help them stay healthy throughout the season.
“The winter season brings an increased chance of getting the flu,” said Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. “We encourage all Chicagoans to get a flu shot now to protect themselves and stay healthy, and we’ve teamed with Walgreens and community partners to make it as easy as possible to find a convenient location.”
Last month, the City teamed with local developers to launch a new interactive online map that pinpoints flu shot clinics: www.CityOfChicago.org/Flu/Map. Additional flu vaccine clinics operating during Vaccinate Chicago Week have been added to the map, making it a comprehensive source for residents to find the nearest neighborhood location to get a flu shot. A complete list of activities surrounding Vaccinate Chicago Week is available at www.CityOfChicago.org/Health.
“One goal of Healthy Chicago, Chicago’s first public health agenda, is to reduce vaccine preventable diseases in Chicago by optimizing access and immunization coverage, and this week-long initiative is a great step towards that goal,” said Choucair. “I want to thank Walgreens for being a key partner this flu season and helping CDPH expand its reach in helping to keep more Chicagoans healthy.”
CDPH has worked with Walgreens to provide greater access to flu vaccine through a variety of programs and community outreach efforts. This fall, Walgreens and CDPH teamed up to conduct flu shot clinics at more than 30 Chicago Public Schools, offering immunizations to both students and their families. Working with community organizations, CDPH and Walgreens also provided flu shots and other services to Chicago’s elderly at more than 20 sites throughout the city. And Walgreens is providing flu shot vouchers, good for a free flu shot at any Walgreens or Take Care Clinic, to eligible residents without health insurance or an insurance benefit covering the cost of the flu shot, at select clinics next week while supplies last.
“Cost and access can be significant barriers when it comes to getting a flu shot or other immunizations, and we’re proud to expand our relationship with CDPH and others in our hometown of Chicago to help protect more people from influenza this season,” said Jack Cantlin, Walgreens divisional vice president of retail clinical services. “By developing new and innovative programs to bring our clinicians into the community to help improve the overall health of the neighborhoods we serve, our pharmacists and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners are helping more Chicagoans get, stay and live well throughout the cold and flu season.”
All Walgreens locations offer flu shots during pharmacy hours, flu shots are also available daily at all Take Care Clinics with no appointment necessary.
The Chicago Area Immunization Campaign, Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, University of Chicago and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois are also taking part in Vaccinate Chicago Week, a localized celebration of the CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week on December 2 through December 8.