City workers will have two hours of paid time off on Nov. 12 to allow families to get kids ages 5 to 11 vaccinated as soon as possible, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.
The measure coincides with Chicago Public Schools closing for the day to encourage vaccinations.
“Next Friday, city employees will have two hours of paid time to take their children to get vaccinated as well as get vaccinated for the first time themselves or to get a booster shot,” Lightfoot said at a news conference at Comer Children’s Hospital.
She encouraged Chicagoans to check a list of locations where vaccines are available at chicago.gov/covidvax.
“It’s my hope and expectation that other institutions and businesses will follow the city’s lead and allow their workers to also take time off on the 12th or any other day to vaccinate themselves and their young ones,” she said.
CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said it was a “difficult decision” to shut schools on the 12th.
He said CPS is working with the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library to provide family support.
“It’s so important to make this key investment now,” he said of vaccinating students.
Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city is ready.
“There’s about 210,000 Chicagoans between the ages of 5 and 11. Already, as of yesterday, Chicago had received more than 50,000 pediatric doses for that age group and we’re on track to have received about 100,000 by next Friday,” she said.
“That’s part of the reason we’re really promoting next Friday: Protect your health on the 12th,” she said.
Arwady hoped to vaccinate as many people as possible before Thanksgiving to allow families to celebrate safely.