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Chicago public health department announces changes amid ongoing Johnson & Johnson pause

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 4/17/2021 Chicago Tribune staff, Chicago Tribune
a group of people posing for the camera: People wait in a line to enter the United Center mass vaccination site March 9, 2021. © Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune People wait in a line to enter the United Center mass vaccination site March 9, 2021.

Chicago public health officials announced changes to the city’s inoculation deployment strategy Friday, as they deal with the ongoing pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Chicago Department of Public Health had sketched out a Plan B earlier this week, and in a Friday news release confirmed that the United Center’s mass vaccination site, which had planned to shift to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will instead continue offering Pfizer.

People who had appointments at Chicago State University will be able to keep them, but get the Pfizer vaccine instead. The Chicago Federation of Labor vaccination site will administer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines starting Monday, but will be limited to 1,200 doses per week.

Health departments across Illinois paused administering the Johnson & Johnson this week after recommendations from federal officials to do so after reports of six women who experienced blood clots about two weeks after vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are reviewing data of the rare and severe type of blood clot that the women have experienced after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a statement from both federal agencies.

a group of people standing in front of a building: People wait in a line wrapped around two blocks to enter the United Center mass vaccination site March 9, 2021. © Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune People wait in a line wrapped around two blocks to enter the United Center mass vaccination site March 9, 2021.

Among other changes the CDPH announced Friday, the O’Hare vaccination site which had been administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not reopen and people will be able to get their vaccines at the United Center or Wilbur Wright College, according to the release.

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