DIXMOOR, Ill. (CBS) — A Cook County COVID-19 vaccination event in south suburban Dixmoor Sunday also involved a holiday gift giveaway.

DIxmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle were decked out in Christmas colors at “Christmas with Santa” at the Dixmoor Community Center, 14336 Paulina St.

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There were toys and bikes for kids ages 1 to 13.

And on a more serious note, there were COVID vaccinations – and the message that those shots are “crucial.”

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“What we’re trying to do now is go to the particular communities in which there are lower vaccination rates, and bring the vaccines to those communities,” Preckwinkle said.

“And I must tell every resident – this is an opportunity for you to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Mehbub Kapadia of Prism Health. “There is no shortcut. Please understand – it is your life, your relatives’ life, your family’s life, your friends’ life.”

That message got through to several adults and kids, who rolled up their sleeves to get those shots.

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Preckwinkle said the higher the vaccination rates, the greater the chance of fighting COVID variants – now and in the future.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff