Clinics across Chicago offer free flu shots amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Nearly every community area in Chicago has at least one clinic offering free flu vaccinations. However, some community areas have many more clinics than others. Some clinics also require no ID or proof of insurance.
By Laaiba Mahmood
Clinics across Chicago are offering free flu shot vaccinations, including over 50 community clinics run by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Flu shot patients at CDPH clinics do not need to provide ID or insurance information to be eligible for the vaccine.
According to an analysis of data from the City of Chicago Data Portal, nearly all Chicago community areas have at least one free flu shot clinic. Community areas in the South, Far Southeast and Far Southwest Sides have a lower concentration of clinics in comparison to clinics in Central and North and Far North Sides.
Some community areas have many more clinics than others; a handful of community areas have no clinics at all. For example, in the Loop there are 18 free flu shot clinics, but in Back of the Yards there are only two. A few of the community areas with no clinics offering free flu shots include Oakland, Riverdale and Burnside according to the City of Chicago data.
The CDPH has created a website dedicated to providing information regarding the flu. The site has resources on flu clinic locations, medication and healthcare providers, flu myths and what to know about the flu in relation to the coronavirus.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, anyone over the age of six months should receive the flu vaccine each year. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the IDPH, told NBC of the importance of getting the flu vaccine this year as the world continues to face the pandemic.
“Flu and COVID-19 each can cause serious respiratory illness and co-infection could possibly lead to more severe illnesses, hospitalization and even death,” Ezike said. “While a vaccine for COVID-19 is still in development, a vaccine for flu already exists and is your best protection against flu. The choice is yours, but I urge you to not risk co-infection of two potentially deadly viruses.”