vaccine 020221CHICAGO – In light of reports showing familiar disparities in ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts between Chicago’s well-to-do communities and majority-minority communities, State Senator Jacqueline Collins called on Gov. Pritzker Monday to focus resources on the same neighborhoods that are suffering from the highest rates of infection and death but are to date seeing the slowest rollout of the vaccines.

“When the pandemic began, we saw disparities in infections and deaths,” Collins said. “As it continued, we saw disparities in testing and care. Now, we are seeing disparities in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. These disparities are literally killing us. I am calling on Gov. Pritzker to interrogate the reasons that the most affluent North Side ZIP codes are seeing such success in vaccination while impoverished communities like mine are struggling, even as we’re seeing the worst rates of spread. And I am calling on him to do something about it.”

A recent report from the Chicago Tribune showed vaccination rates in areas of the city such as the Magnificent Mile and Wicker Park have been relatively high, while rates in areas like Englewood have been much lower. Early data indicates white Chicagoans are twice as likely to receive the vaccine as other groups, the Tribune reported. The Associated Press also reports that the disparity is hardly unique to Chicago.

Another report out yesterday shows the same neighborhoods that have dealt with long-term issues such as pollution are also struggling to get a place in line for vaccinations.

“The governor moved to rectify testing disparities in the Auburn Gresham area when we pointed them out, and now it is home to the city’s state-run, free testing site,” Collins said. “I am again calling on him to recognize that a more targeted effort is needed to immunize the communities where this virus has struck the hardest.”