Cook County launches campaign to boost vaccination rates
With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, along with an expected rise in cases of COVID, seasonal flu and RSV, Cook County is trying to get ahead of the wave by launching a new COVID and flu vaccination awareness campaign, Boost Up Cook County.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, County Commissioner Scott Britton and other county and local health officials gathered Sunday at the Community Resource Center in Palatine to spread the word about the campaign.
Now is the time to boost up, Preckwinkle said.
"By staying up to date with COVID and flu vaccinations, and taking basic precautions to reduce spreading these life-threatening viruses, we have the power to save lives," Preckwinkle said.
In the upcoming days and weeks, ads will run throughout suburban Cook County on radio, social media, billboards and buses.
The website, BoostUpCookCounty.com, provides information on where to find vaccines and free rides to vaccination appointments, how to get vaccinated and boosted at home and valuable links to resources, clinical guidance and best practices.
"The dangers of COVID are still with us," Britton said. "Case numbers are low now. But as recently as May, Cook County was designated by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as a high level of COVID transmission. With winter on the horizon and more of our community members staying indoors, we must remain vigilant about our well-being."
Cook County Department of Public Health Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said, "Our community is not up to date with their boosters. In fact, only 11% of folks in our community have received the current customized booster (for Omicron and other variants of concern)."
In addition to announcing the vaccination campaign, Preckwinkle spoke about the recipients of the $8.4 million Building Healthy Communities (BHC) COVID response, recovery and resiliency grants, which are funded from the American Rescue Plan Act, the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Partners for Our Communities, which, along with Northwest Community Healthcare, operates the Community Resource Center, at 1585 N. Rand Road, is one of the 52 BHC grant recipients, 39 of which are in suburban Cook County.
POC's executive director, Kathy Millin, said the group, which provides resources and programs to immigrants and under-resourced individuals and families, will use BHC funding to partner with All Saints Food Pantry and Northwest Community Healthcare to address food insecurity in Northwest suburban Cook County.