Forest Park, IL — President Toni Preckwinkle today announced that the municipalities of Cicero and Berwyn have reached a 70 percent vaccination rate, a key milestone in eradicating COVID-19. Cook County Department of Public Health is celebrating cities and towns that cross over that mark as part of its 70 Over 70 campaign. Cicero and Berwyn are among the 32 Priority Communities under CCDPH’s vaccination program.
“Ensuring that each city and town reaches 70 percent will go a long way toward putting COVID-19 behind us in Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “We have a long way to go, but it’s important to celebrate key milestones along the way. Together we will get there, and I thank the leaders of Cicero and Berwyn for their efforts in this fight.”
Berwyn and Cicero are among the 32 Priority Communities identified by Cook County Department of Public Health earlier this year. Those communities were chosen using the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), and Social Vulnerability Index. Both indexes take into account factors including socioeconomic, household composition & disability, minority status & language, housing type & transportation, pre-existing health conditions and the state of the community’s healthcare system.
“We have continued to call on people, particularly in our Priority Communities, to get vaccinated so we can get ahead of this pandemic,” said Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health. “The residents of Cicero and Berwyn have answered that call, recognizing their essential role in protecting not only their own health, but the health of those around them. The dedication of these communities and our boots on the ground work around education and vaccine access can serve as a model for other areas hardest hit by COVID-19.”
The CCDPH “70 Over 70” program began in early November, when there were 70 cities and towns below the 70 percent mark. To date, 52 communities were at less than 70 percent. The 70 percent figure measures the percentage of total residents who have received at least the first dose of vaccine. It does include young children not yet eligible for the vaccine, a group that accounts for about 6 percent of the population.
“Public health is all of us, and when it comes to COVID, none of us are completely safe until all of us are safe,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi, Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer of Cook County Department of Public Health. “We applaud the residents of Berwyn and Cicero, as well as the leadership in these municipalities and the work of countless community groups in the process. At 70 percent the job is far from done, but it is great progress.”
To date, 10 of the 32 Priority Communities have reached 70 percent vaccination rates, signifying the significant effort by residents, community groups, the municipalities and Cook County Government.
“We are very proud of the fact that we have achieved 70 percent vaccination in our community and that it continues to increase,” said Cicero President Larry Dominick. “The Town of Cicero and our Health Department provide an effective free vaccination program against the deadly COVID virus to the public. We are grateful for all of the support we have received, including from the Cook County Board and President Toni Preckwinkle. Governments working together can achieve much including providing the maximum protection for the health of our community. We urge residents who have not been vaccinated to come to our Health Department or to any of the county’s health centers and do so.”
With over 85,000 residents, Cicero is the largest municipality in CCDPH jurisdiction. More than 60,000 residents have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Berwyn counts more than 57,000 residents and almost 42,000 of them have received a dose.