More than 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health care workers throughout the city of Chicago, the city's top doctor revealed Monday.
The majority of those who have received the vaccine are hospital employees, however a small amount of emergency medical services personnel have also been vaccinated, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The 20,000 figure, Arwady emphasized, does not include health care workers who have been vaccinated in Chicago, but live outside city limits. No significant problems or unexpected side effects have been reported, according to the doctor.
With Chicago emphasizing equitable distribution as a strategy to combat COVID-19, city officials were asked Monday whether race and ethnicity data regarding vaccinations is available.
Arwady said that CDPH is only able to report data by ZIP code and age, but added race and ethnicity data is being collected by the state of Illinois.
State officials hope to make the demographic data publicly available, officials said.
The city's first doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered Monday at six federally-qualified health centers.
Approximately 16,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be administered in the city by the end of the week, Arwady said. Similarly, the city anticipates more than 21,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine will be given over the same time period.
In the coming days, Chicago health officials plan to follow up with the city's 35 hospitals to learn how many staff members have been vaccinated in the past few weeks.
Starting Tuesday, a mass vaccination site for health care workers will open at Malcom X College in the Illinois Medical District.
On Monday, vaccinations for employees and residents started at eight of the city's long-term care facilities. This week, additional doses of the vaccine will be distributed to dozens of outpatient facilities, which will vaccinate their own staff members.
Phase 1A of the city's vaccination plan, which is focused on health care workers and long-term care facility residents, could potentially last through February.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that while vaccinations are the "light at the end of the tunnel...we are still very much in that tunnel."
"Just because we have a vaccine does not mean that the pandemic itself is over," she stated, calling on residents to continue to take measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. "We are still months away from widespread community distribution of the vaccine."