Chicago Coronavirus

Trump Tower Workers Receive COVID Vaccines From West Side Hospital, But Chicago Officials Question Why

Trump Tower workers received coronavirus vaccinations from Loretto Hospital staff on Chicago's West Side, though officials said Tuesday the reason for administering the vaccines is unclear.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said in a statement that the city was not aware of the vaccination event at Trump Tower, located at 401 N. Wabash, and that officials have reached out for more details.

"Hotel workers are in phase 1c, which we hope to enter at the end of the month," CDPH said in a statement. "These phases align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and are designed to ensure the vaccine gets to the most impacted communities and individuals. In addition, this was not a Protect Chicago Plus event, which are focused on high-need communities according to the CCVI (COVID Community Vulnerability Index)."

Loretto Hospital confirmed Tuesday that their infectious disease team vaccinated 72 "predominately Black and brown restaurant, housekeeping and other hotel support personnel" at Trump International Chicago.

The hospital said West Side residents who work at the hotel requested the Loretto Hospital staff come to provide vaccinations, saying they were "unable to leave their jobs to be vaccinated during regular in-hospital hours."

"The vaccine doses used were from The Loretto Hospital’s vaccine allotment, not from Protect Chicago Plus allocations, which are reserved specifically for Austin residents. The Chicago Department of Public Health has been in contact with hospital leadership to clarify the department’s guidance regarding community vaccinations moving forward," the hospital said in a statement.

However, according to Block Club Chicago, hotel employees and a resident said the vaccinations were offered and administered to the tower’s employees more broadly, including people who were white.

Chicago is slated to move to Phase 1C, which opens up eligibility to people with certain underlying health conditions and other essential workers not already eligible under Phase 1B, on March 29, city officials said.

Phase 1C would expand vaccine eligibility to all other essential workers not already eligible as well as Chicagoans over the age of 16 with underlying medical conditions.

Currently, much of the Chicago area remains under Phase 1B guidelines, which opens up vaccinations to people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers," including first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers and more. That's in addition to the health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who were eligible in Phase 1A of the state's rollout.

Most recently, however, Illinois entered what it called Phase 1B plus, opening up doses to those with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities. Chicago and several surrounding suburbs, however, opted not to increase eligibility along with the state, citing a lack of doses.

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