City to run COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Loretto Hospital following controversy

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Chicago health officials announced Friday it will open and manage a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Loretto Hospital.

The announcement comes after controversy surrounding the hospital and vaccine distribution.

Last month, Block Club Chicago reported that several vaccination events were held outside the hospital, which primarily serves Black and Latino residents in West Side neighborhoods.

Officials organized at Trump Tower in downtown Chicago and at the hospital president’s suburban church. On Monday, they reported employees at a Gold Coast watch shop, which Loretto’s COO frequents, were vaccinated as well.

City judges from the Office of the Chief Judge Tim Evans were vaccinated too.

Hospital leadership was reprimanded and several resignations and suspensions followed.

Health officials were withholding first doses of vaccines from the hospital as authorities investigated the events.

Friday, the Chicago Department of Public Health said it will open a City-managed COVID-19 vaccination clinic onsite at the hospital.

 “After reviewing an internal audit conducted by the hospital and interviewing hospital leadership involved with vaccine operations, the City of Chicago has decided to open a vaccination clinic at the hospital under initial operational management by the City to serve the Austin community,” a statement for CDPH said.

Edward Hogan, Chair of The Loretto Hospital Board, issued a statement that read:

On behalf of the board of Loretto Hospital, I would like to thank Mayor Lightfoot as well as Dr. Arwady and her team for the guidance and attention they have given us during this time. In addition to launching a new vaccination site at the hospital starting next week, we look forward to the work we have ahead of us in rebuilding trust with our community and re-doubling our efforts to continue providing high-quality healthcare services to residents throughout the west side. Nothing is more important than ensuring that our community knows that we are more dedicated than ever to serving them.

The site will open on April 21 and will operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 Vaccinations will be offered at no cost and by appointment to people aged 18 and over who live in Austin. Identification and insurance are not required, but proof of address will need to be provided on the day of the appointment. Eligible individuals can sign up at https://events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/9jft8/. Those without internet access can call 312-746-4835.

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