CHICAGO (CBS) — At the rate Chicago is going one month since the first COVID-19 vaccination in the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says it would take a year and a half to get everyone vaccinated.
The city is now receiving less of the vaccine than when the rollout began, but inside the 1A community, those eligible for the first round of doses, more and more people are warming up to the idea of getting the shot.
“About nine out of 10 that have initially said no changed their mind,” said Dr. Afya Khan, an infection control practitioner with Loretto Hospital.
Chicago’s first vaccinations at Loretto Hospital came amid pomp, circumstance and applause.
But what was less talked about was the 70% of hospital staff eligible for the vaccine that declined it. One month later only 10% are declining it.
“We’re going through supply really quickly, and it’s crazy how much has changed over such a small amount of time,” said Khan.
Doctors getting the vaccine with no side effects helps encourage others.
Now they need more.
Lightfoot said the vaccine rollout has not delivered on promises. She blames sluggish shipments from Washington.
So far 74,000 people have been vaccinated in the city. Last week 32,000 doses arrived. Next week will bring just over 34,000. It’s a slight improvement, but there are 600,000 Chicagoans up next in the 1B category, which includes everyone over 65.
“At the rate we’ve been on Chicago won’t be fully vaccinated for another year and a half,” Lightfoot said.
There is also disagreement on why some still say no.
“The biggest predictor as to whether someone raises their hand to get vaccinated is level of education,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “It’s true across the country and true here in Chicago.”
But two medical professionals who spoke with CBS 2’s Chris Tye disagree.
“I don’t necessarily believe in Dr. Arwady’s statement,” said Khan.
Dr. Marina Del Rios of the University of Illinois Hospital was Chicago’s first emergency room doctor to get the shot.
“There’s a trust issue there that’s not always related to education,” she said. “It may have to do more with where you come from.”
She fully endorses vaccination, and two weeks since her second shot has had no side effects.
“The number one answer is they want to know more about side effects,” she said.
Starting Monday some facilities with extra vaccines not used by those in the 1A group will be allowed to administer those to people in the 1B group.
It is still unclear when everyone in that group will begin to sign up for vaccinations.
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Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony