Kane County using no-ID-needed campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccinations among Hispanics
Kane County health officials are ramping up a marketing campaign targeting Hispanic residents who still haven't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine by highlighting the message that no ID is required to get a shot.
But barriers to getting the vaccine remain, particularly at local manufacturing businesses, that county officials say may be outside their ability to address.
The county's vaccination efforts have the virus on its heels locally. Less than 2% of COVID-19 tests are coming back with positive results in recent weeks. At the local peak of the pandemic, in November, about one in five tests came back positive.
"The positive cases are at the lowest we've ever been," said Michael Isaacson, the county's assistant director for community health. "And in terms of who is in the hospital, we are lower than we have ever been since the pandemic started to really ramp up. This is due to the hard work of everyone in the community who is working to get people vaccinated."
The total number of vaccines administered in Kane County should hit 500,000 doses by the end of the week. The health department and other local providers of shots are averaging about 2,000 shots per week.
More than 58% of county residents between 16 and 64 have had at least one shot. The total is even higher for residents 65 and older, at 85%.
County officials are identifying people who may still have trouble getting to clinics and mass vaccination sites. The health department has been providing shots at local schools where nonuniformed but trusted community leaders are leading the charge in getting people to trust the vaccine.
The marketing push now is letting people know they can get a shot with no official ID.
"The key to getting through this pandemic is getting as many people vaccinated as possible," Isaacson said. "We have clearly identified that many people are uncomfortable showing ID, so we do not require it. People still complete the consent form, and we use that information to track our progress. Ultimately, getting more people shots is our priority."
County board Chair Corinne Pierog said she's hoping owners of local factories will also embrace that priority.
"With factory workers, the problem is the result of the shot," Pierog said. "Some people get a first or second shot and are fine. Other people, not so much. And their employers don't allow for that sick leave. They'd be docked in time.
"This is a real problem for our manufacturing workers, even though the vaccine is readily available to them. It is something each individual owner of a factory would have to address. It's beyond our scope."
Meanwhile, with the drop in demand for the vaccine, the county announced Wednesday it will permanently and immediately close the mass vaccination site on Lake Street in Aurora. All shots scheduled for that site will be given out at the KaneVax Hub at 501 N. Randall Road in Batavia.