At a press conference on April 30, DuPage County officials announced a new goal to have 80% of the county’s population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 1.
To help accomplish that goal, the vaccine clinic operating on the DuPage County Fairgrounds will now accept walk-in vaccinations for those over the age of 16 starting on May 3. They hope making it as easy as possible to receive the vaccine will encourage people to do just that.
“We are committed to ensuring vaccine is available to anyone who wants to be vaccinated,” said DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala. “So far, more than 445,000 DuPage County residents have received at least one dose, and we are working to assure that all the roughly 739,000 residents currently eligible to be vaccinated have convenient access to the vaccine.”
That clinic will be open to walk-ins Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Minors hoping to get vaccinated will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Where DuPage Stands Now
More than 60% of eligible residents have already received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, whether Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson. Among residents 65 years of age and older, usually considered the most at-risk to the virus, more than 88% have received at least one dose.
Statistics like that had County Board Chairman Dan Cronin saying DuPage is “at the head of the pack in vaccination efforts.” He went a step further at the briefing, saying he feels the pandemic’s end could be in sight.
“I’ll even go out on the limb a little bit further. If we can work together and get our vaccination rates as close to 100% as possible, we will be doing all we can as individuals and as a county to end this pandemic,” he said. “This summer, we have a chance to turn the tide and get DuPage County back to the normal we all crave. It’s right in front of us. This is our shot.”
The county is hoping to partner with local schools and businesses to arrange additional vaccination clinics.
One obstacle to accomplishing its vaccination goal would be those who are hesitant to receive a vaccine. The health department is partnering with health systems to promote “vaccine confidence” by providing education and addressing the concerns of residents who might be hesitant to get vaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in the fight against COVID-19,” said Donald Hoscheit, MD, DuPage Medical Group Chief Medical Officer. “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our communities and the vaccine will allow us to protect ourselves, loved ones and those around us who are at risk for severe illness from the virus.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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