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As More COVID Vaccine Appointments Open Up, Concerns Grow Over Available Supply

CHICAGO (CBS) -- 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.

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 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 J.B. 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.

At the Forest Park mass vaccination site, the Governor remained confident about distribution, crediting an uptick in manufacturing elsewhere.

"Fifteen million doses being lost is a big deal but, but at the same time millions more doses are being added every week to what's being distributed to the state of Illinois," Pritzker said. "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 appointments over the coming weeks for first doses."

In Chicago, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said they've seen a big drop in how much the city is receiving.

"As we're looking ahead to what we're receiving, it went from 40,000 Johnson & Johnson to 4,800," Arwady said.

She said that sets the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back by about three weeks. Because of that, Dr. Arwady said her department will be pushing the federal and state government to give more vaccine doses because demand is so high.

"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 home bound program," Arwady said.

Leaders urged patience as more appointments open up as demand continues to outweigh supply of the vaccine.

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