CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Health says the delta variant of the novel coronavirus will likely be the dominant strain in Chicago by late summer.
And while vaccines have been shown to be highly effective against the delta variant, CBS 2 dug into some troubling vaccination numbers lagging behind in communities of color.
As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported Wednesday, vaccination efforts have spanned ZIP codes and have been fronted by pastors, police officers, and barbers. At the start of the vaccine rollout, equity was at the forefront of the discussion.
Half a year later, this map breaks down by ZIP code where COVID-19 vaccinations stand citywide.
CHECK: CBS Chicago Vaccine Tracker
The darkest shades show the highest percentages of vaccination mostly in the center of downtown and then trending farther north and northwest.
The lightest shades, meaning the lowest vaccination numbers, are seen in the city’s South and West sides.
As of Wednesday afternoon in the 60624 and 60644 ZIP codes representing Garfield Park, Homan Square, and South Austin, just 31 percent of those communities are vaccinated.
In the 60621 ZIP code in Englewood, it is 28 percent.
“There’s been historical mistrust, perhaps, amongst some of these communities – especially among communities of color – from efforts of the medical community, and a hesitancy,” said Dr. Gregory Huhn, COVID-19 vaccination coordinator for Cook County Health.
Channal Coleman has been among those trying to bridge that trust.
“I got my shot and I feel fine,” she said. “I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it for the people around me; my clients. I’ve got an auntie with cancer
Coleman held a “Vax and Relax” event a few weeks ago at her It’s Official Barber Shop, at 1256 W. 63rd St. in Englewood. Only 40 people showed up for 100 shots, she said.
“There’s a lot of people that’s just not taking it serious,” she said.
But some health experts said the fact that anyone is still showing up to get vaccinated is a reason to keep the efforts going.
“There still is a fair amount that we hear that are somewhat hesitant. Those are the ones we can still target and hit,” said Northwestern Lake Forest Medical Director Dr. Michael Bauer. “There is a reason that we’re still doing 500,000 vaccinations a day in the United States”
Right now, there are more than 100 cases of the delta variant reported in Illinois with more than 23 in Cook County.
“If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible,” pleaded Dr. Huhn. “The Pfizer vaccine shows to be 88 percent effectiveness against symptomatic disease when you get both doses, 96 percent effective against hospitalizations.”
The barbershop said they want to hold another vaccination drive before students return to school.
And don’t forget, you can still call the City of Chicago at (312) 746-4835 to have them bring a vaccine dose to you within the comfort of your home.