CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials will open a new city-run vaccination clinic at Loretto Hospital on the West Side next week, more than a month after the city cut off its vaccine supply amid a scandal that saw the hospital provide shots to ineligible but well-connected people.
The Chicago Department of Public Health will open the clinic at Loretto Hospital on Wednesday, and the site will exclusively serve Austin residents on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12pm-6pm and Saturdays from 9am-3pm.READ MORE: Arwady: Chicago To Deploy Vaccine Ambassadors, Parents Need To Get The Vaccine To Kids 12 And Over
Eligible individuals can sign up at events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/9jft8/. Those without internet access can call 312-746-4835.
When it first opens, the clinic will be managed by city officials to make sure vaccinations are appropriately administered and reported to the state. The city will manage the registration and scheduling system, while the hospital will provide clinical staff to actually give out the shots. The city also will work with local community groups to ensure Austin residents can get appointments, and will assign a “dedicated engagement and outreach coordinator” to work with the hospital to ensure proper outreach to the Austin community.
“More than anything, our goal is to get this lifesaving vaccine to the residents of Austin and their neighbors on the West Side who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “Loretto has acknowledged there were problems with their previous vaccination efforts and apologized for their mistakes. After reviewing the full accounting of past vaccine administered, and after multiple productive discussions with the team at Loretto about our expectations, we are ready to work in partnership with them to help get vaccine to a community that needs it.”READ MORE: Where To Get Pfizer COVID-19 Shot For Children 12-15: Doctors Say Vaccinating Children Key To Helping End Pandemic
Loretto is under fire, accused of giving shots to ineligible but well-connected people, including employees of Trump Tower, Cook County judges, members of a suburban church, employees of a luxury watch and jewelry store on the Gold Coast, and others. The city had cut off the hospital’s vaccine supply last month due to the scandal.
The hospital on Friday said an internal audit found approximately 2% of the 5,443 doses it administered “off-site” went to people who were not eligible to get a shot at the time.
“We are humbled and grateful to Mayor Lightfoot and Dr. Arwady for giving Loretto this second chance to participate in the City’s vaccination program after completing a thorough review of our internal audit. While mistakes were made that I wish could be undone, I take full responsibility for those actions as president of this great hospital and have given my word that we will not find ourselves in this situation again,” Loretto Hospital President George Miller said in a statement. “Words alone cannot express my gratitude to Loretto staff, who have performed nothing short of miracles serving some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens during this pandemic. And starting next week, we will get back to the work of putting shots in arms on behalf of the city and addressing vaccination access gaps facing communities of colors.”MORE NEWS: 3 Killed In Starved Rock Explosion Last Week Identified
Miller is facing a two-week suspension without pay over the scandal. Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Dr. Anosh Ahmed resigned last month.