The Illinois Unidos Public Policy Square



June 2022

Let’s Make it a Safe Summer for Our Children: Vaccinate!

Throughout the summer, Illinois Unidos staff, volunteers, and promotoras will be out in force encouraging COVID19 vaccinations.  With a  focus on the vaccination of all family members, and with the recent Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID19 vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Illinois Unidos will also distribute Spanish-language information and resources, and participate in membership-sponsored neighborhood and community summer events. Illinois Unidos will urge city and state officials to increase their city- and state-wide mitigation efforts by taking the following actions.

  1. Undertake a multilingual summer-long campaign urging parents to vaccinate their children before enrollment in any home- or center-based daycare, and before the start of the school year for all students in public and private schools  (e.g., middle school students and youth).
  2. Reopen neighborhood-based specialized vaccination and testing sites. These sites were easily accessible to community members, and bilingual staff who were mindful of specific cultural nuances, hesitations, and fears.  
  3. Issue executive orders calling on factories, warehouses, and businesses to protect essential workers by providing them with personal protection equipment and by gathering data to gauge any COVID19 outbreaks in their industries
  4. Reinstate the statewide mandate on the use of high-quality masks in indoor settings such as schools and daycare centers, commercial centers and big box stores, public libraries, hospitals, entertainment venues and parks, and forms of transportation used by the general public; 
  5. Urge use of high-quality, tight-fitting face masks, such as N95, KN95, or KF94, in public indoor settings or when congregating outdoors with others; 
  6. Reboot Contact Tracing efforts, particularly in communities showing troubling levels of COVID19.
  7. Continue to hold media and public briefings on the state’s efforts to reduce COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations, while also having a daily and focused public message to test and vaccinate.
  8. Use Spanish-speaking media outlets, public announcements, and Latino leaders to urge the vaccination of Latino families.
  9. Call on faith leaders to use the “power of the pulpit” to educate, inform, and continue to advocate for vaccinations and boosters by serving as vaccination sites. 
  10. Reinstate the CDC’s 10-day guidance of not returning to work if you have Covid19 symptoms or test positive.  
  11. Encourage appropriate social distancing protocols in all public venues (e.g., parks, restaurants, playlots, classrooms, workplaces, and so forth); 
  12. Instruct state-operated health facilities and clinics to provide complimentary antiviral therapies, increase access to test-to-treat centers with bilingual staff, and invest in a public health campaign to inform the Latino community about all the available treatment options. 

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