Hospital, SCHD stymied by lack of vaccine

Crystal Phinney, a paramedic for Corunna Area Ambulance Service, receives the first COVID-19 vaccine in Shiawassee County, given by registered nurse Marji Nichols in December.

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — Memorial Healthcare officials Monday said they have received no COVID-19 first-dose vaccine for the second straight week.

And the Shiawassee County Health Department said its expected shipment was delayed by bad weather.

“We do have vaccines available for our second dose vaccine clinic scheduled for Feb. 25,” Memorial officials said in a post to the hospital website. “Memorial Healthcare — as well as health care organizations elsewhere — is faced with a significant and unpredictable vaccine supply that is limiting our ability to offer as many vaccination appointments as we are eager to provide.”

Memorial Healthcare said it is still not accepting new pre-registrations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We do not have vaccines in our inventory and continue to await updates on timing and quantity of our next supply from the state of Michigan,” the Monday update said.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website, as of Monday the state had 581,403 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 15,362 deaths. Shiawassee County has 3,556 cases and 77 deaths.

Nationally, more than 500,000 Americans now have died from the virus.

As of Monday, the state has received 2.47 million doses of vaccine and administered 1.88 million. In Shiawassee County, the state says 7,800 doses have been delivered and 10,579 have been administered (some residents obtain vaccines in other counties).

The state said, as of Feb. 19, 15.1 percent of the population had received at least one vaccine dose. In Shiawassee County, that figure was 12.3 percent.

According to Vicki McKay, Memorial’s Director of Business Development, hospital officials have few answers about the availability of vaccines.

“The state of Michigan determines which counties receive vaccines through their algorithm,” she said via email. “As for why we are not receiving vaccines, I am unsure. … That would be a question for the state.”

Shiawassee County Health Director Larry Johnson said his department expects to receive doses this week, but they have been delayed because of bad weather.

“As of today, our allocation for this week has not arrived due to weather delays from last week,” Johnson said. “Tentatively, we have scheduled a second dose clinic for education staff, but it is contingent upon receiving vaccine.

“If first doses arrive this week, clinics will be scheduled for 65 and older. We are currently working on vaccinating priority group 1B. We do not yet know when we will move to 1C,” he added. “County allocations are based off of a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and population based formula determined by the state of the Michigan.”

McKay said the hospital will continue working through people in the Phase 1B priority group when it obtains vaccines.

According to the SCHD, the department has received 3,300 Moderna vaccine doses, used for both first and second shots. The department has provided 3,393 doses overall because of vials containing more vaccine than expected.

Appointments will be scheduled for those 65 and older and education staff once vaccines arrive.

People who are 65 and older should call (989) 743-2460 and pre-register for vaccines.

(1) comment

DJ

The headline says we're stymied. The article says questions about why we aren't getting the vaccine should go to the State. Has anyone asked the State? If not how do we go about getting those questions asked and answered?

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