Advocate Condell Medical Center to resume vaccinations after temporary pause due to COVID-19 vaccine side effects

ByWill Jones and Jesse Kirsch via WLS logo
Sunday, December 20, 2020
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Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville is paused COVID-19 vaccinations after some healthcare workers reported reactions to the shots. Officials said they will resume the p

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- After a thorough internal review, Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville is restarting their COVID-19 vaccination program as of Sunday.

The program was put on pause Friday night after four employees experience reactions shortly after receiving the vaccine. Officials said there have been no other cases reported across Advocate Aurora Health.

"So the immediate concern was, is there something wrong with that batch of vaccines, but after discussion with our health departments and also understanding that that same lot of vaccine was used at multiple other sites, both within and outside of advocate Aurora health, and no other serious concerns reported. We felt that there are really no concerns about the integrity of the vaccine," said Dr. Robert Citronberg, Executive Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention.

One of the four cases appeared to be a severe allergic reaction. The staff member is doing well and was discharged Saturday. The other three experienced mild reactions that can happen after being vaccinated.

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"I can tell you that one of the, the team members who had a milder reaction was discharged home was a physician on our medical staff and we reached out to that physician [Saturday] who was feeling great, and said he absolutely is 100% behind continued vaccination of our population," Dr. Citronberg said.

The Lake County Health Department issued a statement:

"As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out across Lake County, we continue to closely monitor their safety and efficacy. Monitoring for adverse reactions is part of standard process with vaccines, and it is not unexpected to see some minor reactions occur, because some people respond to vaccinations differently than others."

As a precaution, Advocate Aurora Health is increasing their post-vaccine evaluation period to 30 minutes for all individuals across all their sites. They continue to encourage employees to get vaccinated but it is not mandatory.

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Vaccinations at the eight other Advocate Aurora Health locations in Illinois, as well as the three locations in Wisconsin, continued with no delay, according to Advocate Aurora Health.