Chicago launches the nation’s first vaccination site run BY union workers FOR union workers.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined with the Chicago Federation of Labor to announce the opening of a new vaccination site for union essential workers as Chicago expands eligibility under Phase 1c.
The vaccination site, located at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399 at 2260 S. Grove St. in Chicago, is open to union workers who live or work in Chicago who are eligible for vaccinations under Phase 1a, 1b and 1c guidelines. This unique partnership is the first site in the nation run by the labor movement for all eligible union members, and will support the City of Chicago’s efforts to get vaccines to Black and Latinx Chicagoans who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“Since Chicago first received COVID-19 vaccines, our highest priority has been to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents and essential workers as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Unions are trusted messengers and dedicated advocates for thousands of Chicago’s essential workers, and this collaboration will ensure that workers with the highest need will have access to the vaccine as we enter Phase 1c. I want to thank the Chicago Federation of Labor for their partnership, which will help to reduce vaccine hesitancy, support our equity goals and put our city on a path to true recovery from this terrible pandemic.”
“Chicago’s union workers have sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to keep this city moving during this unimaginable crisis,” said Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter. “The Chicago Federation of Labor is proud to announce this union vaccination site to continue protecting the essential workers who have protected all of us during this pandemic. Unions work every day to help ensure the health and safety of their members — helping to facilitate the vaccination of their members is logical step to that end. This unique partnership will vaccinate thousands of workers in the city of Chicago across dozens of industries, especially Black and Latinx workers who have been hit especially hard by the virus. We want to thank Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health for taking this step forward with us to bring vaccines to the working people of Chicago.”
The vaccination site is expected to handle approximately 1,200 vaccinations per week, with additional capacity added as vaccine supply increases. Interested workers must live or work in the city of Chicago, hold a current union card or be a union retiree, and qualify under any of the eligibility criteria in Phase 1a, 1b or 1c as defined by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). As vaccine eligibility expands, so will the CFL program. For more information about vaccine appointments, union members should visit www.chicagolabor.org/vaccine. Those interested in receiving a vaccine must have a valid appointment to be vaccinated and union cards will be checked at the door for access to the site.
“Chicago’s essential workers have kept our city moving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we enter Phase 1c we must do everything we can to make sure our workers have access to the vaccine,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “The City could not accomplish this by ourselves, so we thank the Chicago Federation of Labor for this partnership that will make it easier for thousands of workers to receive this life-saving vaccine.”
Since the COVID-19 vaccine first came to Chicago in December 2020, the City has followed a distribution plan that has prioritized equity while targeting individuals and locations most vulnerable to the virus.
Today, Chicago is entering Phase 1c of its vaccine distribution plan, which will make all essential workers eligible for the vaccine. This plan is part of the City’s efforts to ensure the most vulnerable Chicagoans have access to the vaccine as quickly as possible. To learn more about the City’s vaccine distribution plan, including the eligibility requirements for Phase 1c, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDVax.