Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday said the city is considering ways to incentivize residents to get coronavirus vaccines, including potential passes that could lead to preferred seating and admission to events for those who have gotten shots.
The mayor was asked at an unrelated news conference about the city’s plans for creating COVID-19 vaccination passports, a move Chicago public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said is under consideration to begin next month.
Lightfoot said the plan is still “a work in progress” but that city officials are looking for ways to give vaccine stragglers incentive to get inoculated from the disease that could include preferred seating and admission to certain events.
“When you get vaccinated, it’s going to be an easier to return to a different life,” Lightfoot said. “I won’t say our normal old life, because I don’t think that’s ever coming back.”
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The mayor also encouraged residents between the ages 18-44 to get vaccinated, and noted the Black community is also lagging. “The opportunities for opening up the city increase with the number of people who get vaccinated,” she said.
Arwady, Chicago’s top public health official, on Tuesday said she expects the city to debut a form of a vaccination passport requirement next month for access to events geared toward young adults.
Arwady gave few details about the initiative, but said it will be dubbed “Vax Pass” and roll out in May as a means to encourage vaccination particularly in younger people in exchange for attendance at concerts or other events as the second pandemic summer begins.
“You get a vaccine, you’ll be able to get into a concert or get into an event,” Arwady said. “(We’re) really thinking, particularly for younger people, how can we make vaccine something that people are excited about getting?”
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