Chicago Pulls Vaccine From Hospital After Rogue Events

Trump Tower workers were among those given unauthorized shots
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 22, 2021 6:05 PM CDT
Chicago Pulls Vaccine From Hospital After Rogue Events
Chief executive George Miller, speaking in January, has been punished by Loretto Hospital.   (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Two Chicago hospital executives have been reprimanded over COVID-19 vaccine events that improperly gave shots to people far from the West Side facility, including one held for workers at Trump Tower. Loretto Hospital's Board of Directors released a statement Friday saying it had "taken appropriate actions of reprimand" against President and CEO George Miller and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anosh Ahmed. A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email Monday requesting comment from Miller and Anosh in reaction to the board's decision. City health officials said last week they would withhold first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the hospital as authorities investigate the events, the AP reports. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that Loretto needs better controls and data to guide and track vaccine administration, adding that she doesn't expect the hospital “to be coming back online anytime soon."

"They've got work to do, I think, to rebuild trust in their own community," Lightfoot said. The backlash followed local media reporting on several vaccination events held outside the hospital, which primarily serves Black and Latino residents in West Side neighborhoods. Loretto was chosen last year to administer Chicago's ceremonial first COVID-19 vaccination as part of the city’s efforts to encourage people to get the shot. Block Club Chicago first reported vaccination events that hospital officials organized at Trump Tower in downtown Chicago and at the hospital president's suburban church. WBEZ reported that county judges and family members improperly received vaccines from the hospital. "While it is the estimation of the Board that all reported events stemmed from a sincere desire to vaccinate as many eligible Chicagoans as possible—especially people of color—as quickly as possible, we acknowledge that actions were taken that fall outside the scope of The Loretto Hospital’s core mission,” the hospital board said in Friday's statement.

(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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