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After COVID vaccine mix-up, South Side patients wait for second shots

South Shore Hospital missed a deadline for ordering vaccine, forcing about 150 patients to reschedule.

South Shore Hospital this week had to call patients who were scheduled for their second and final doses of the Moderna vaccine to let them know they didn’t have the shots on hand.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times file photo

About 150 people who were scheduled to get their second COVID-19 shots at South Shore Hospital this week will have to wait a few days after a vaccine ordering snafu.

The hospital had to call patients who were scheduled for their second and final doses of the Moderna vaccine Wednesday through Friday to let them know they didn’t have the shots on hand, Chief Executive Tim Caveney said.

The second Moderna dose is key to make sure the vaccine is more than 90% effective warding off the virus, researchers have said.

Small community hospitals like South Shore receive their COVID vaccines from the city’s Public Health Department, and a hospital employee didn’t send the order in time last week, Caveney said.

City officials confirmed that the order came in late and that the doses will be sent to South Shore next week. The hospital is rescheduling those patients, Caveney said.

“It’s been straightened out,” Caveney said. “The most important thing is the patients.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly said she is focused on making sure South Side and West Side residents are getting vaccinated as they live in areas of the city that have been most affected by high numbers of cases and deaths from the virus.

South Shore was among four money-losing South Side hospitals serving poor residents that attempted to merge until the deal was called off last year. Advocate Trinity Hospital, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and St. Bernard Hospital were the other partners in the proposed merger.

Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.