COVID 60633: Outreach workers in Hegewisch work to combat vaccine misinformation

CHICAGO (WLS) – There are renewed concerns tonight about low COVID-19 vaccination rates in two Chicago zip codes. Health experts say the delta variant that causes so many new COVID-19 cases is a serious risk for unvaccinated people.

As of Wednesday, 57.4% of all Chicago residents had received at least one dose, and just over 51% are now fully vaccinated. But the rate is much lower in two zip codes: 60633 and 60621.

SEE ALSO | Chicago COVID vaccine map showing the number of residents vaccinated by zip code

As people lined up to buy food, outreach workers provided factual information about the vaccine on Wednesday. It’s been an ongoing and challenging endeavor in Chicago’s zip code 60633, where the vaccination rate for a single dose is 34.5% and only 29.8% for the fully vaccinated population, much lower. compared to the city rate.

Grace Garcia, Calumet Regional Industry Commission, said: “We have our leaflet saying ‘this is what the vaccine doesn’t contain. “It got to the point where, they say, it has horse manure in it.”

60633 residents Grace Garcia and Ted Stalnos head the Calumet Area Industry Commission. The organization has spearheaded efforts in trying to get more people vaccinated. They say correcting misinformation on social media is their biggest challenge.

“Instead of listening to Dr. Facebook and listening to medical professionals and real scientists with information,” says Stalnos.

Zip code 60633 covers the Southeastern neighborhood of Hegewish, in Ward 10 of Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza.

SEE ALSO | Mayor warns rising COVID cases in Chicago could bring restrictions

“We worked really hard to try to communicate, we did a lot of vaccine events, we worked with the UAW,” says Sadlowski Garza.

Garza believes the city and community organizations are doing all they can. She said residents have to do their part.

However, peddlers and organizations question how accurate the 60633 vaccination number is, because it also includes the Cook County town of Burnham and borders Indiana.

“Many, many people in this neighborhood, which is my neighborhood, Hegewish, went to Indiana and got vaccinated there,” said Stalnos.

City vaccination rates include only those vaccinated within the city. Either way, community groups at 60633 say they will continue to increase the payouts to get more residents vaccinated.

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