CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday demanded more COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government.
Only 36 thousand doses have been given out in the city so far. But some health care workers who are eligible to get the vaccine now are too scared to get the shot.
As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported, fear about getting the vaccine from health care workers at Roseland Community Hospital underscores a community-wide challenge.
Doctors at the hospital have been lining up get the COVID vaccine – hoping this demonstration will convince others the vaccine is safe.
“We’re trying to overcome some pretty prominent hurdles – you know, a lack of trust in the medical testing,” said hospital chief executive officer Tim Egan.
There is even a lack of trust at the hospital among its own workers. Egan said only 25 percent of Roseland’s employees are willing to get the vaccine so far, and 75 percent have not received it – even though it’s available to them.
Meanwhile, Mayor Lightfoot is pressuring the federal government to send more vaccine to Chicago.
“The federal government has to step up,” she said.
But the mayor also acknowledged the fear among some in the Black and Latino communities of getting the vaccine that is already here now.
“We need to secure the trust of our Black and Brown residents so they feel comfortable receiving the vaccine,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Fears are linked to inequitable healthcare. Some cite the infamous Tuskegee Experiment. For decades, doctors told hundreds of African-American men they were being treated for syphilis – when doctors actually left them untreated to study the effects of the disease.
There is also the false information online.
“One of our employees was clad in PPE from head to toe, and I asked her her if she gotten her vaccine yet. And she said, no, she wasn’t going to get the vaccine,” Egan said. “I asked why. And she said, ‘Well, I read on Facebook that it could cause MS.’ And my quick response was, ‘What medical school did Facebook graduate from because we’re with Dr. Fauci and all the science and experts.’”
Egan says Roseland Community hospital got 975 doses, and because employees didn’t come close to using them all, the hospital vaccinated Cook County Sheriff’s officers.
The hospital has launched a public information campaign called “I Got It.”
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