CHICAGO - Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit Chicago on April 6.
Harris will be focusing on what's called "vaccine equity." That encompasses efforts to make sure that poor people, people without regular access to health care, and people in hard hit communities are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at the same rates as others.
In Cook County, more than 10,000 people have died of COVID-related causes. Forty-four percent of deaths were among white, non-Latino people. Black people accounted for 27% of deaths, while Latinos were 22%, Asian people were 4% and Native Americans less than 1%.
Vaccine skepticism has been a problem for some in the Black community. They remember the infamous "Tuskegee Syphilis Study," in which 600 Black men were unknowingly injected with a strain of syphilis for a government experiment. Twenty-eight of them died.
On Friday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker approved a plan to allow vaccinations of any Illinois resident above the age of 16 in areas where vaccinations are lagging.
In Chicago, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) has pleaded for the city to open more vaccination clinics in areas hit hardest by COVID-19.