City of Chicago to Open New Vaccination Site at The Loretto Hospital

April 16, 2021

Permanent location to increase vaccine access for Austin residents

COVID-19 Joint Information Center    media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced it will open a City-managed COVID-19 vaccination clinic in partnership with The Loretto Hospital following a pause on the hospital’s vaccination program last month. Located onsite at the hospital, the new clinic will increase vaccine access on the West Side while ensuring all vaccination guidelines are stringently followed. The site will open on April 21 initially to serve Austin residents exclusively and will operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12pm-6pm and Saturdays from 9am-3pm.
On March 18, CDPH announced it was pausing delivery of vaccine to The Loretto Hospital after multiple reports of ineligible people receiving vaccine. CDPH said the pause would continue until a full accounting of all vaccine-related activities had been completed and it could confirm the hospital’s vaccination strategies and reporting practices met all CPDH requirements.
 
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.
 
When it opens next week, the City of Chicago will manage all operations at the clinic, including providing the registration and scheduling system and ensuring that vaccine administration is appropriately reported to the state’s I-CARE system. The Loretto Hospital will provide clinical staff to administer the vaccine and will work with community-based organizations to ensure Austin residents can access vaccine appointments. The City will also assign a dedicated engagement and outreach coordinator to work with the Loretto team to ensure appropriate outreach to the hospital’s patients and the Austin community. All vaccines will be administered on-site at The Loretto Hospital.
 
“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,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “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.” 
 
“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," said Loretto Hospital President, George Miller. "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.”
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
“I am delighted that the City of Chicago responded to our request that Loretto has the opportunity to continue to provide the COVID 19 vaccinations. It was never about Loretto the institution. The hospital is greatly needed in the Austin area and surrounding communities. I urge every person who needs it to get a COVID vaccination to get it, and Loretto would be a good place,” said U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis.
 
“The Mayor answered the Austin Community's call to continue working with The Loretto Hospital and bring the necessary support and safeguards so that the families in Austin will have greater access to the vaccines to help fight the spread of this deadly virus. I will give my full support to help spread the good news to one of the populations hardest hit by COVID-19,” said State Representative LaShawn Ford.
 
"This is an important and essential step to protect the Austin community. This partnership with Loretto Hospital ensures that all residents have access to the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. I strongly support the mayor's decision to move forward with equity driven vaccine distribution," said Alderman Emma Mitts.
 
"Equity needs to be at the forefront of vaccine distribution. That's why I strongly support the mayor's decision to partner with Loretto Hospital to help vaccinate Austin residents. This partnership is critical to protecting a community that has been hit hardest by COVID-19," said Alderman Jason Ervin.
 
"After a brief pause in vaccine distribution, I have confidence in the newly designed management for Austin's permanent vaccination site at Loretto Hospital. Convenient and accessible inoculations are imperative, in order to ensure vaccine equity for the Austin community. Beginning next week, I look forward to Austin residents, once again, being able to be vaccinated in their own neighborhood," said Alderman Christopher Taliaferro.
For the latest information on Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, please visit www.chicago.gov/covidvax.
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