Chicago’s hardest hit Black and Brown neighborhoods still least likely to be vaccinated, as privatized CDPH distribution scheme drives hunger games rush to nab shots and Black and Brown school clerks struggle to access vaccine.

CHICAGO, Feb. 4, 2021—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today on news of ongoing issues related to vaccine distribution for Chicagoans in need.

“With vaccines still in short supply nationally, it’s critical that local public infrastructures prioritize getting shots into the arms of the most vulnerable. In Chicago, that must include Black and Latinx families on the South and West Sides who statistics show continue to bear the brunt of sickness and death from COVID, but are least likely to be receiving shots.”

“Our own rank and file school clerks and technology coordinators are among the CTU paraprofessionals who are being being denied access to vaccinations, even as CPS has been illegally forcing them to work in buildings in defiance of an October binding arbitration ruling that they should be allowed to continue working remotely. These are the very Black and Latinx neighborhood residents whose families and communities are suffering most in this pandemic –many of whom are themselves over age 50 with health issues that put them at higher risk of COVID. Yet statistics show that a huge percentage of those receiving vaccines distributed via CDPH are not even Chicago residents.

“The City of Chicago can — and must — do better than this. We need responsible oversight that ends these hunger games competitions for protection from the pandemic, and the kind of committed leadership to ensure that vaccine distribution helps to end — rather than intensify — the inequity that so many of our neighborhoods of color continue to confront.”

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.