For select locations and venues in northern Illinois and Chicago, people will have to have COVID shots or not be able to attend select events, concerts, or other large gatherings.
Chicago plans to roll out a “Vax Pass” that vaccinated residents will be able to use to gain access to summer concerts, according to top City of Chicago health officials.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on April 30 that Illinois will not issue vaccination passports, but might issue something like a doctor’s note – upon request. It didn’t take long for the State of Illinois to give up the “Vax Pass” idea after seeing Chicago’s proposal.
“What we are looking at is making sure that people have available to them some sort of verification if they want it, only at their own behest,” Pritzker said.
Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady floated a similar idea on April 27 as an incentive to get young adults vaccinated in exchange for access to concerts and other summer public events. That idea is moving ahead, she said a few days later.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot embraced the idea. She said the incentives are aimed at the city’s lagging number of Black residents getting shots.
“So we really need – particularly 18 to 44, where we’re seeing the lowest uptake – we need young people to get vaccinated. Do it, of course, for yourself; but for your family, for your grandparents,” Lightfoot said.
Arwady said the city is also looking at “Vax and Relax,” more incentives for vaccinated young adults to receive special treatment through local nail salons as well as barber and beauty shops.
Chicago’s “Vax Pass” will be detailed in the next few weeks and the passes issued in May. The Vax Pass concept is to really have summer and fall activities and events that are incentives for people who choose to get vaccinated.