Concerns Grow Over COVID Vaccine Supply

There will be 150,000 more COVID-19 vaccine appointments opening next week. But there are concerns about a shortage of one shot. CBS 2's Meredith Barack reports from Forest Park.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: We begin this hour 18 with a lot of big developments in the pandemic and vaccination efforts. We've just learned 150,000 more COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be opening next week. But there are concerns about a shortage of one shot.

IRIKA SARGENT: At the same time, a Chicago university is dealing with an outbreak among students. Our reporters getting to the bottom of it all. Let's begin our team coverage tonight with Meredith Barack live in Forest Park. Meredith.

MEREDITH BARACK: Brad, Irika, many more appointments will soon be opening up here and at other locations in Cook and surrounding counties. But the increase in appointments comes at a time when we are seeing thousands less Johnson & Johnson doses being allocated to Chicago and the state.

The drop in Johnson & Johnson's supply comes just days after a factory mix-up in Baltimore resulted in the loss of 15 million doses. It's now impacting Illinois. Numbers from the CDC show the state received 148,600 doses this week. Next week, Illinois is slated to receive just 17,600 doses.

This comes as Governor JB Pritzker announced vaccines would be available to more people than ever before. Anyone in the state of Illinois over the age of 16 will be eligible come Monday, April 12. Today at the Forest Park mass vaccination site, the governor remain confident about distribution, crediting an uptick in manufacturing elsewhere.

JB PRITZKER: 15 million doses being lost is a big deal. But at the same time, millions more doses are being added every week to what's being distributed to the state of Illinois. We have increasing doses available to people. That's why we're able to offer more appointments in Cook and the Collar counties-- significantly more important appointments-- over the coming week for first doses.

MEREDITH BARACK: In Chicago, Dr. Allison Arwady says they've seen a big drop in how much the city is receiving.

ALLISON ARWADY: As we're looking ahead, what we're receiving to be allocated, it went from 40,000 J&J to 4,800. She says that sets the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back by about three weeks. Because of that, Dr. Arwady says her department will be pushing the federal and state government to give more vaccine doses because demand here is so high.

- One, two, three.

ALLISON ARWADY: We know a lot of people are really excited for J&J. One and done, fewer side effects. And it's so helpful for things like our homebound program.

MEREDITH BARACK: Leaders here today also urging patience as more appointments open up, as demand continues to outweigh supply of the vaccine.

BRAD EDWARDS: Yeah, Meredith, can we expect to see any appointments being canceled or vaccination sites closing temporarily due to the decrease in the Johnson & Johnson vaccines?

MEREDITH BARACK: Brad, the governor told me that we shouldn't expect any public health departments across the state to make cancellations. They're doing their best to make sure appointments aren't canceled. But people who were expecting to receive a Johnson & Johnson shot may receive a Pfizer or Moderna shot instead.

BRAD EDWARDS: OK. Duly noted. Meredith Barack, thank you.