CHICAGO (WLS) – Hundreds of people received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Pilsen on Sunday.

“This is a follow-up event to the biggest vaccination events aimed at adolescents the city has seen,” said Karina Ayala-Bermejo, President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino.

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Ayala-Bermejo said more than 500 people were back to receive their second dose of Pfizer on Sunday and another 100 people were receiving their first injections.

The objective is to ensure access for the immigrant community.

“We are the hardest hit by COIVD, right, so we want to make sure vaccines are used,” Ayala-Bermejo said.

The event was specifically aimed at reaching young people, as the city prepares to fully reopen with warming summer fun.

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“We know this is a population that may not think they are vulnerable, but they are,” Ayala-Bermejo said. “You’re going to have concerts, are going to have summer gatherings. You want to protect your grandparents, you want to protect your family, so we are promoting vaccination as families.

Ayala-Bermejo’s 16-year-old son Elijah Bermejo got his second shot on Sunday morning. The experience was liberating for him.

“Now I feel free. It’s a, it’s a feeling of relief that I can finally be happy, be with other people, connect with other people,” Elijah said.

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Elijah said he was working to convince his friends to get vaccinated as well. He believes that education and awareness of gunfire can make a difference.

“It is our duty to protect and serve people who do not have the opportunity to get vaccinated,” Elijah said.

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