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.

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