Officials at Advocate Condell Medical Center in suburban Libertyville say they will resume coronavirus vaccinations of staff members on Sunday after pausing the injections following reactions in four staffers who received the treatment this week.
The decision to pause vaccinations was made Friday after four individuals who received the treatment experienced tingling and elevated heartrates shortly after receiving the injection.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily pausing vaccinations at Condell, which will allow us time to better understand what may have caused these reactions,” officials said in a statement Friday.
Hospital officials say they conducted a “thorough internal review,” consulting with infectious disease and clinical experts, and decided to resume their vaccination program on Sunday.
According to officials, one of the four cases appears to be a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. The individual who suffered the reaction was hospitalized overnight for monitoring, but officials say that the person has been discharged.
Because of privacy laws the hospital couldn’t go into specifics about that person’s medical history.
The other three individuals were dealing with more typical reactions to the vaccine, and all were doing well on Saturday, officials say.
“One of the team members who had a mild reaction...was a physician on our medical staff,” said Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention at Advocate Aurora Health. “We reached out to that physician today who is feeling great. He absolutely is 100 percent behind continued vaccination of our population, knowing how important to end the pandemic. He has no hesitations whatsoever.”
The hospital will make one change to its procedures, increasing the so-called “post-vaccine evaluation period” to 30 minutes after injection, a move they say is more stringent than CDC recommendations for the vaccine.
Approximately 6,000 staff members in the hospital’s system have gotten the vaccine so far, according to the press release.
Advocate Condell received the vaccines from the Lake County Health Department and said it has no reason to believe the lot was bad since no other hospitals reported any issues.
“We're very confident there are no issues with the integrity of that lot of vaccines,” Citronberg said. “We’re still going to use our vaccine supply within that 120 hour period.”
As a result of the situation at the suburban hospital, health officials have reassured the public the vaccine is safe.
“...The benefit of vaccinations of [the] population far outweighs the risk even though knowing occasionally we'll have some reactions to the vaccine,” he said.