Chicago, IL – Alivio Medical Center will begin vaccination of eligible patients and community members beginning Saturday, January 30, 2021. Chicago Department of Public Health has provided the community health center with a limited amount of Moderna vaccines and Alivio will begin to administer to patients in 1A and 1B categories. Alivio is excited to launch its vaccine program with Casa Maravilla residents in the Alivio Pilsen Satellite Senior Center located within the building at 2021 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60608. Alivio will continue to provide vaccines subsequently on a limited capacity, by appointment only and is working to expand vaccination sites in hardest hit communities.
Chicago has been in phase 1A since December 15, 2020 making healthcare workers, long-term care and other residential healthcare facilities eligible for vaccination. The city is now in Phase 1B since January, 25, 2021. This means Chicagoans age 65+ and specific groups of highest-risk and front-line essential workers will be eligible for vaccination.
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza will be vaccinated alongside her 85 year old diabetic mother at the launch on Saturday. “The coronavirus pandemic has had unprecedented, widespread impacts on Illinoisans and families across America and having personally witnessed the devastation this virus can cause on a loved one, I am grateful for this huge step forward toward immunity “said Mendoza. The Comptroller suffers from asthma and has had several bouts of pneumonia prior to the pandemic. “I have taken all the precautions to avoid getting the virus because a simple cold for me can quickly develop into pneumonia as has occurred three times in the last four years.” In late 2020, the Comptroller’s brother contracted the virus which landed him in the hospital for 41 days battling mini strokes and kidney failure among many other complications. The 56 year old Chicago Police Detective Sergeant still continues to battle the long-term effects with blood pressure issues, cataracts in both eyes, and will have to rely on dialysis for the rest of his life. Mendoza fiercely advocates for the Covid-19 vaccines and hopes others who are eligible are vaccinating with confidence along with maintaining social distancing measures, masking and hand hygiene.
Many of Alivio’s service area residents have not had the luxury of staying home throughout the pandemic. Working from home is near to impossible for employees of the agricultural and service sectors, manufacturing, food and hospitality industries. The people working in essential roles are often those at highest risk for the worst negative outcomes of this disease. “We are thankful to be providing the vaccine to our most vulnerable patients and community members which have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus as well as our fellow healthcare workers, “ said Esther Corpuz, CEO of Alivio Medical Center. “Our staff has weathered the storm and made many sacrifices during the pandemic and the vaccines are giving us the hope that we have been waiting for.”
The health center has managed two Covid-19 testing sites, one in Pilsen and another in Berwyn servicing the southwest side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs since the start of the pandemic. To date, Alivio has administered 16,000 COVID-19 tests and has seen high positivity rates within the communities it serves all thanks to the hard work and dedication of its staff. In addition, to managing two testing sites, Alivio also has a team of contact tracers and community health workers who have been able to assist with tasks like notifying individuals they have been in contact with someone that tested positive for COVID and should get tested, safety guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, and connecting individuals to resources in the community they can access to help during this time.
Alivio has fearlessly advocated for quality, affordable health care access for Latinos in Chicago, Berwyn, Cicero and the Western Suburbs and is committed to reducing COVID-19 disparities through testing, education, and vaccination.