AUSTIN — Two new vaccination sites aim to increase the opportunities for West Siders to get vaccinated in their own neighborhood.
After cutting the vaccine supply at Loretto Hospital and reallocating the shots to other providers, the city has opened a vaccine clinic exclusively for Austin residents at the hospital managed by the city’s health department. The city clinic at Loretto Hospital, 645 S. Central Ave., is open noon-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
Anyone 18 and older living in Austin is eligible to be vaccinated at the city-run clinic at Loretto Hospital. Insurance and ID is not required, but people must provide proof of residence. Residents can sign up online or by calling 312-746-4835.
PCC Wellness has also begun broadly vaccinating West Side residents at multiple clinic sites. Previously, PCC was only offering vaccines to current patients of the health center, but they now have enough vaccine and staff to serve anyone who is eligible.
Anyone 18 and older is eligible to be vaccinated at PCC if they live in Austin, Belmont Cragin, Bellwood, Berwyn, Cicero, Dunning, Garfield Park, Hermosa, Humbolt Park, Lawndale, Maywood, Melrose Park, Montclare, Oak Park, or West Town.
To schedule an appointment, call PCC’s coronavirus hotline at 773-295-3347.
The city stopped sending vaccine doses to Loretto after reports from Block Club and WBEZ highlighted how the hospital vaccinated ineligible people with ties to its executives — including Trump Tower workers, people at a luxury Gold Coast watch shop, workers at a Gold Coast steakhouse and more than 200 people at the CEO’s suburban church.
A doctor tied to Loretto also vaccinated his family in the suburbs with doses from the West Side hospital.
Rep. LaShawn Ford resigned from the hospital’s board after it refused to say how it would punish CEO George Miller and then-COO Dr. Anosh Ahmed. Ahmed resigned from the board after Block Club revealed more scandals.
After the scandals were revealed, leaders said there was no shortage of West Side residents looking to get vaccinated.
The new clinic at Loretto is fully managed by the city’s health department to ensure proper guidelines are followed, said Health Department Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
“More than anything, our goal is to get this lifesaving vaccine to the residents of Austin and their neighbors on the West Side who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” Arwady said. “… After multiple productive discussions with the team at Loretto about our expectations, we are ready to work in partnership with them to help get vaccine to a community that needs it.”
Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.
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