Lightfoot’s vaccine hunger games vaccine system continues to undercut access to shots in Black and Brown students’ neighborhoods, which continue to bear disproportionate COVID burden.
- 7A TODAY, Tuesday, May 4: Press Conference with rank and file CTU educators, officers, via Zoom. Reporters, please register at the link in your email. Press conference will be livestreamed to CTU Facebook page.
CHICAGO—The CTU won an agreement with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s hand-picked board of education in early April to provide vaccinations to high school students and their vulnerable family members. Thousands of those students and family members hail from precisely the Black and Brown neighborhoods that have been most disproportionately hammered by COVID-19 sickness and death — and which continue to struggle to access shots through the Mayor’s ‘hunger games’ approach to vaccine access. Yet CPS has dragged on implementing the program — and rank and file educators are demanding that the mayor’s CPS management team begin working immediately with the Union to get the vaccination program up and running for students and school communities.
Educators will talk about CPS’ foot-dragging on implementing COVID vaccinations through the District, and next steps to start getting shots to students and parents at a press conference via Zoom at 7:00 a.m. TODAY, Tuesday, May 4. Reporters can register to attend via the link in their email, and the Union will also livestream the press conference to the CTU Facebook page.
CPS agreed in early April to work with the CTU to set up a system to allow students and their family members to get vaccinated through CPS. But the District has yet to operationalize that program, even as COVID rates remain dangerously high in some neighborhoods, and younger people are increasingly being sickened by COVID.
The CTU met with CPS again last week to try to move the needle in getting shots into arms, with little success, as Mayor Lightfoot’s CPS team pushed only ‘sharing’ vaccine site locations with educators to amplify with families.
The CTU is calling on CPS to provide specific appointment blocks for age-eligible students and families, and to schedule at least ten collaborative vaccine events between now and the end of June, with a goal of vaccinating at least 80% of students and family members by August. Vaccine events should be set up at schools near existing vaccine sites, schools that house health clinics, and schools in the Sustainable Community Schools program that house social service programs and already partner with community organizations. The Union is also calling on CPS to fund buses for parent and student vaccine field trips, and coordinate with CTU members and community partners to fill those seats and get those shots out.