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Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will be closed next week so guardians and parents can take their children to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Classes will be canceled on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, for the first-ever “Vaccination Awareness Day.”
In addition, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that all city employees will be given two hours of paid time off to take their children to be vaccinated. CPS CEO Pedro Martinez stated that the decision to close the schools was not an easy one to make.
I know it creates challenges for our parents. We are working with libraries, park district to provide family support.
Parents shared their dislike over the decision on social media; not just from the employed parents trying to figure out child care, but from those who believe hesitant parents need to have more education about the COVID-19 vaccines. They believe the day should be spent on educating them instead.
On November 4, CPS sent home letters announcing the initiative dubbed Vaccination Awareness Day. The letter stated they hope this will allow all eligible students the time to be able to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible.
The day before WGNTV reported that the Chicago area was already receiving the Pfizer dose for children ages 5 to 11.
The decision for Vaccination Awareness Day comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval for the younger ages.
Some CPS facilities will be hosting vaccination clinics. CVS and Walgreens will begin offering COVID-19 doses to children this weekend.
The city announced there will be plenty of places, including mobile pop-up sites, for people to receive their vaccinations. Dr. Allison Arwady announced, “We will have more details next week, can tell you we anticipate there will be more than 200 locations across the city.”
Chicago area schools do not plan on closing a second time since there is more flexibility with scheduling the second COVID-19 dose.
Written by Sheena Robertson
WGN-TV: CPS canceling classes Friday, Nov. 12 for ‘Vaccination Awareness Day’
ABC-7 Chicago: City of Chicago employees get paid time off November 12 to get kids vaccinated, Mayor Lightfoot says; by Mark Rivera and Sarah Schulte
Images Courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License