CHICAGO – The massive winter storm talking place across the country is causing a shipment delay of COVID-19 vaccines to the Chicago area.
Additionally, Cook County Department of Health announced Monday night that they are closing several of their vaccination sites Tuesday due to the winter storm.
Vaccinations will continue at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, Provident Hospital, and the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center. However, other locations, including all large-scale vaccination sites, will be closed.
Large scale sites are located at South Suburban College in South Holland, Triton College and at the Tinley Park Convention Center.
If your shot is being canceled, they will call you Monday night and then again to reschedule within 48 hours.
According to an email sent Monday from city officials to vaccine providers, no vaccine shipments are expected to arrive to the Chicago market on Tuesday.
Given the ongoing shortages of vaccine supply, the Cook County Vaccine Program will have a limited release of 5,000 new first-dose appointments on February 16. Appointments will be available beginning at noon at https://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov.
CDC and McKesson held a call today to discuss the impacts on COVID vaccine shipments from the storm that is hitting Chicago and around 20 other states. Here is what we know right now.
No COVID vaccine shipments are expected to arrive to the Chicago market tomorrow. This is not just a Chicago issue but also issues in Tennessee where most of the shipments originate from.
Updates will occur daily so I do not want to speculate beyond what we do know as of now. When you are planning for any potential effects that this might have on your vaccination events or appointments please consider the possibility of this extending past tomorrow so you are more prepared for all outcomes. That said, all COVID shipments were requested as overnight shipping so when this does resolve it will likely catch up quickly.
CDPH is not able to send doses to providers in the interim. So please base your plans on doses you have on hand only.”
However with still plenty of doses Monday, Illinoisans were still coming out to get vaccinated in the midst of a winter storm.
The Illinois Department Public Health closed its mobile vaccine sites, but everyone else was up and running.
After weeks of trying to get a vaccine appointment, 92-year-old Camille Frole wasn’t going to get frigid conditions get in her way.
“We’re on so many websites you wouldn’t believe,” Frole said. “Hopefully we don’t get sick. That’s how we’re gonna celebrate.
A local physician said Monday that the weather hasn’t stopped people from coming out.
“Interestingly, everyone who had an appointment today has shown up. So I know there are emergencies, and I know last week couldn’t get out of drive ways or alleys, but most of them made it,” said Dr. Rahul Khare. “So people really want this shot.”
Dr. Khare said he has enough vaccines in reserve to give people their shots as scheduled this week, but other places might run out.
Walgreens and Jewel-Osco said they are both operating like normal and that’s the plan for Tuesday as well. If people need to cancel their shots, they can reschedule them. But the logistics of that might be complicated as getting an appointment in the first place.
If people do not show up, the goal is to make sure nothing get wasted.
“Under no circumstances do we let weather or anything else cause wastage of vaccines,” Dr. Arwady said.
If you can’t get out Tuesday and need to reschedule, you can call Innovative Express Care and your local Walgreens. If you’re scheduled through Jewel-Osco, you need to go online.