First doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago to be administered Tuesday

Coronavirus Watch

A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, as the U.K. health authorities rolled out a national mass vaccination program. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

HICAGO — A hospital on Chicago’s West Side is expected to be the first in Chicago to administer the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. The first dose will be given to a health care professional at Loretto Hospital.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot will join Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady to administer the vaccine.

The first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at Illinois Strategic National Stockpile Monday morning. The vaccinations come as Illinois has seen more than 100 deaths from COVID-19 for seven consecutive days.

The CEO of Loretto Hospital spoke to WGN on Monday, showing excitement after being chosen by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to be the first hospital to receive the vaccine.

Dr. Marina Del Rios with Illinois Unidos Collaborative, says she will be amongst the first to receive the vaccination at Loretto Hospital.

The hospital’s CEO says choosing Loretto as the first to administer the vaccine is sending an important message to the West Side community affected by the virus.

“It’s primarily because of the fact of the disparities that exist in the African American and Latino-x communities across the land and certainly here in Chicago,” said George Miller, Jr., President and CEO of Loretto Hospital.

Mayor Lightfoot plans to be in attendance when the first vaccination is given at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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(This story was originally published on December 15, 2020)

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