By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Chicago Public Schools are pushing student COVID-19 vaccinations ahead of the start of the school year with school-based sites and events.

The nation’s third-largest school district plans to offer five days a week of in-person instruction and says the goal is to vaccinate as many students as possible.

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But the shots aren’t required.

Starting next week the district will offer COVID-19 vaccines at three school sites for students and their families.

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The district is also working with hospitals for vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates and offering shots at back-to-school events.

Public health officials say more than 50,000 children under 18 have already been vaccinated in Chicago.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff