‘Preferred seating’ at events like Lollapalooza could be used as vaccination incentive, mayor says
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the “Vax Pass” is still just a concept, but the idea is to use it as a carrot, instead of a stick, to bolster vaccination rates among young people most likely to attend outdoor music events this summer.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday said the proposal to create a coronavirus vaccine passport for Chicago events is “very much a work in progress” but that preferred seating at those events could be one way to urge vaccination.
The concept is to use the “Vax Pass” as a carrot, instead of a stick, to bolster vaccination rates among young people most likely to attend outdoor music events like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest.
“We’re gonna be looking at ways in which we can incentivize people to get vaccinated and do that by looking at preferred seating. Preferred admission,” she said.
Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Tuesday had said the city will launch the vaccination passport program next month, but stopped short of saying large summer events such as Lollapalooza are officially back on.
Lightfoot discussed the program Wednesday at an unrelated event in Bronzeville, where she also sounded the alarm once again about the need to get vaccinated.
Vaccine “uptake among Black Chicagoans still lags behind every other demographic,” the mayor said, and that needs to change, particularly among African-Americans between the ages of 18 and 44.
“We need you to get vaccinated. Do it, of course, for yourself, but [also] for your family, for your grandparents. When you get vaccinated , it’s gonna be an easier return to a different life. I won’t say a normal old life because I don’t think that’s ever coming back. But I think the opportunities for opening up the city increase with the number of people who get vaccinated,” the mayor said.
“So, please folks. There’s plenty of opportunity now all over the city to get vaccinated for free. … Don’t be a bystander. Get in the game. Get yourself vaccinated.”