Chicago-area hospital to resume vaccinations after 4 workers experience adverse reactions: report

Three of the employees were recovering well at home while the fourth was continuing to receive medical attention

A hospital north of Chicago says it plans to resume coronavirus vaccinations for its staff Sunday, following a temporary pause after four employees experienced adverse reactions to the Pfizer treatment.

The employees' symptoms included tingling and elevated heart rates, FOX 32 of Chicago reported Friday after the shots were administered a day earlier. Three of the employees were recovering well at home while the fourth was continuing to receive medical attention, the report said.

On Saturday, Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., said it would restart vaccinations for other employees beginning Sunday.

"Our site vaccination teams remain prepared to respond quickly and appropriately should anyone experience any kind of reaction," the hospital statement, accordingto FOX 32. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have increased our post-vaccine evaluation period to 30 minutes for all individuals across all our sites, which exceeds CDC/ACIP recommendations."

The facility said its decision to resume was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health officials, FOX 32 reported.

While the medical center -- about 39 miles north of Chicago -- temporarily paused injections of the Pfizer vaccine at its Libertyville site, the organization’s other sites, including eight more in Illinois and three in Wisconsin, were continuing vaccinations without disruption, officials told FOX 32.

The medical center noted that the four affected employees represent only a small fraction of the organization’s 3,000 employees who have been vaccinated since the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine became available earlier this week.

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Officials said the pause in Libertyville would give them a chance to better understand why the adverse reactions may have occurred, FOX 32 reported.

Alaska reactions

On Wednesday, state officials in Alaska reported that two health care workers in that state experienced allergic reactions to the Pfizer product.

One worker, described as a middle-aged woman with no previous allergy history, stabilized after treatment Tuesday following a rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing and a skin rash and redness, CBS News reported. She was admitted to a Juneau hospital for monitoring.

The second employee experienced milder symptoms, including eye puffiness, lightheadedness and a scratchy throat, the report said.

The Alaska hospital has vaccinated about a quarter of the 400 employees who made requests, CBS News reported.

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The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine received Food and Drug Administration approval earlier this month, with shipments starting Dec. 13 and vaccinations underway a day later.

On Friday the FDA approved a second vaccine, made by Moderna.

Federal officials have announced agreements for a total of 200 million doses of the Moderna product and 100 million doses of the Pfizer product.

 

Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this story.