Although our country as a whole did not reach President Biden’s goal of 70 percent of adults receiving at least one COVID vaccine dose by Independence Day, we have significantly moved the needle in Chicagoland. Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is proud to announce that we have delivered nearly 50,000 vaccines since the process began in December 2020. That equals 4% of all vaccines administered in suburban Cook County
While the availability of vaccine supply has improved greatly over the last few months, the number of people who are still looking to get vaccinated has dropped considerably. For that reason, we have made the decision to close our dedicated Vaccine Clinic at 3060 Salt Creek Lane in Arlington Heights and move our efforts deeper into the community. Vaccines are readily available on a walk-in basis to patients at our Immediate Care Centers in Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Kildeer and Palatine at Harper College. The Mount Prospect location is offering vaccines by appointment only.
It has been my honor to work with 20+ outstanding NCH healthcare team members from Information Technology, Pharmacy, Facilities, Security, Nursing and many more to strategize the massive undertaking of creating and implementing a safe and efficient vaccine clinic – free to anyone who walked in our doors. NCH hired 40 individuals to staff the vaccine clinic while our hospital and physician office patients saw no disruption in service or care. Fifteen volunteers spent more than 500 hours working side-by-side with NCH staff.
NCH has partnered with local businesses and community agencies to take the vaccines directly to their employees and partners, helping to reduce barriers to access. We have also provided vaccines to homebound patients and continue to do so.
We are so proud to have cared for more than one thousand COVID-19 patients who were able to return home after treatment, including one of the first patients in the state, and we grieve with those whose loved ones lost their fight to this unprecedented disease.
Our fight against COVID-19 is not yet complete. The projected local response to the Delta variant is dependent on those who remain unvaccinated. We urge all those who are eligible to be vaccinated but have not yet done so to take advantage of this opportunity to protect your health and the health of your loved ones. If you cannot be vaccinated, please continue to practice social distancing, hand washing and wearing your masks.
A note for those parents who are still considering having their student vaccinated (ages 12+). In order to have them fully vaccinated before the fall semester begins, their first dose should be administered this month. If you have any questions about the safety of the vaccine for your child, please contact your primary care provider or pediatrician to discuss your questions or concerns.
On behalf of NCH, I would like to thank our northwest suburban community for the support you have provided our healthcare system. Fighting this pandemic has truly been a team effort. The finish line is in sight, and if we continue to work together, get vaccinated and support each other, we’ll soon cross it.
Susan Nelson, M.D. Vice President, Physician Operations Northwest Community Healthcare