Chicago mayor says vaccination goal will be reached by Thanksgiving

Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago students protest for virtual learning, COVID-19 stipends School infrastructure is a children's human rights issue — it's time the US acknowledges that The Hill's Morning Report - Biden champions filibuster reform, but doesn't have the votes MORE (D) says the city is on track to meet her previously set vaccination goal before Thanksgiving.

In the fall, Lightfoot set the goal of at least partially vaccinating 77 percent of the city's population above the age of 12.

"As we prepare to celebrate this milestone, we also acknowledge that there is still work to do to protect our communities from COVID-19 and move past this pandemic,” Lightfoot said in an announcement on Monday.

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Data, however, has shown vaccine rates are lower in minority communities. The city’s data, which does not separate the vaccine rates for people over age 12, showed that vaccination rates on the city's South and West sides were less than 50 percent among all those who were vaccinated, the Chicago Tribune reported.

In September, Lightfoot launched a campaign called Vax-Chi-Nation when 72.4 percent of adults and eligible children had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 shot. Previously, Lightfoot noted that the 77 percent goal was relatively modest and attainable, the Tribune noted. 

“Across Chicago, there are still too many residents who have yet to get their COVID-19 vaccine, and with eligibility recently expanding to children as young as five, the City is deepening its efforts to reach our hardest-hit communities and connect them with information about and access to these life-saving vaccines," the mayor said Monday.

Chicago has been the site of disputes over vaccines, especially as they relate to mandates for police officers. 

Lightfoot announced in August that all city employees would need to be vaccinated by Oct. 15. That order was met with resistance from Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara. Catanzara resigned as a police officer but said he would continue to lead the union. 

Last month, the city said that police officers could face repercussions, including losing retirement benefits, if they refused to comply with the city's vaccine mandate.