Multiple officials at Chicago’s Loretto Hospital have received reprimands, but are expected to retain their positions after multiple instances in which coronavirus vaccines were purportedly given to individuals with connections to the hospital’s board.
According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Loretto Hospital will not be receiving additional first doses of the coronavirus vaccine for the foreseeable future after the multiple reported incidents, with at least four currently under investigation.
“I fear that we’re going to hear more stories, which is why we pushed pause,” Lightfoot said Monday. “I’ve been in contact with the CEO and members of the board, and they’ve got work to do to rebuild trust in their own community.”
The latest allegation was published by Block Club Chicago on Monday. According to the publication, vaccine doses were offered to individuals at a jewelry store on Oak Street in Chicago, with a private event held at the location to vaccine employees.
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Earlier this month, hospital officials confirmed that a vaccination event had been held for employees at Chicago’s Trump Tower.
As a result of those incidents, Loretto will not be sent first doses of the vaccine until the Chicago Department of Public Health has reviewed the hospital’s policies, according to officials.
Lightfoot said that individuals scheduled for second doses of the vaccine at the hospital will still be allowed to receive those doses, but she says that she doesn’t expect that the hospital will be given any first doses in the near future.
“I don’t expect them to be coming back online any time soon,” Lightfoot said. “We’re there to support them as they identify issues in their systems and controls. It is unfortunate that it has come to this.”
Officials with the Service Employees International Union have pushed back on the city’s decision to withhold doses, saying that it places an unfair burden on an area of the city that has been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The union is asking that COVID vaccines be provided for staff and family members, but it is unclear if that request will be fulfilled by the city.