Health care workers in Chicago to get first COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, officials say

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CHICAGO Health care workers in Chicago will get their first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine starting tomorrow as the first wave of vials are shipped across the nation Monday.

The City of Chicago is expected to receive about 20,000 doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech directly from the federal government.

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, healthcare workers in the city will receive their first doses at Loretto Hospital in South Austin Tuesday morning.

Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois received about half of the 109,000 doses expected as part of of its first allotment of Pfizer’s vaccine Monday, which will be divided up and distributed to local health departments and hospitals across the state.

“Eleven months after scientists the world over first got their hands on the genetic sequence of this virus and we are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” Pritzker said.

The vaccine’s arrival comes on the same day the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,214 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, as well as 103 additional deaths.

Chicago’s other hospitals said they’re ready to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine following weeks of preparation during a sustained surge of the virus.

Rush University Medical Center, which has been doing dry runs of receiving the shipment, hadn’t received its initial allocation of 1,950 doses by Monday afternoon. They expect to inoculate 1,000 workers a day after receiving the shots.

Outside of Chicago, NorthShore Highland Park Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and Sherman Hospital in Elgin will distribute vaccines.

Hines VA Hospital in Maywood is one of 37 VA hospitals to be receiving the vaccine, due to the capacity to vaccinate large numbers of people and adequate cold storage space.

If the FDA issues emergency use approval for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine late this week, shipments of that vaccine could arrive in Illinois next week.

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