COVID-19 Chicago: Health care workers to receive 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccines at Norwegian American Hospital


CHICAGO (WLS) — The first five frontline healthcare workers who received the COVID-19 vaccine in the city went back for their second dose Tuesday morning.

Dr. Marina Del Rios, emergency physician at University of Illinois Health, called it a “relief.”

She was among the original five who volunteered to get inoculated last month at Chicago’s Loretto Hospital.

WATCH: 1st COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago administered

Del Rios said she did it for the sake of her family and those in her community hesitant to get vaccinated. Completing her inoculation gives her optimism.

“I’m hoping this year, this is a start of better things to come,” Rios said.

The event at Norwegian American Hospital Tuesday morning was an effort to highlight the importance of people coming back for a second dose to make the vaccine fully effective.

Health experts say that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is not fully effective without the second dose.

Both vaccination events were held at hospitals serving communities hit hardest by COVID-19. This was a to boost vaccine rates among Black and Latinx residents. Del Rios said there is still more work to be done to convince those who are skeptical that the vaccine is safe.

“It’s also been a little deflating and disappointing to see even healthcare providers stepping back and saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to wait,'” Del Rios said.

“Particularly among Black and Latinx healthcare settings, we’re not seeing as many people stepping up and saying, ‘I want to get the vaccine,'” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago Department of Public Health.

As the city continues its first phase in the roll out, which includes vaccinating frontline healthcare workers first, Mayor Lightfoot had a message for President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden saying the current vaccine distribution is not enough.

“If you want to have us bend the curve and give people confidence they can resume normal lives, then there must be an exponential increase in the amount of vaccine that is available to cities and towns all over this country,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

Chicago hospitals are being asked to double back and give those workers who initially passed on getting the vaccine another chance at getting inoculated.

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