District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reports approximately 1,400 COVID-19 vaccines were administered Friday, Jan. 8, during vaccine clinics throughout the 10-county jurisdiction.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our staff who put in an enormous effort to vaccinate almost 1,400 individuals on Friday,” stated Kevin Hughes, health officer for DHD#10. “The work that went into accomplishing this operation was significant and our team is prepared to do the same at vaccine clinics throughout the week next week and in the coming weeks and months.”
Vaccine totals by county include:
Crawford — 103
Kalkaska — 108
Lake — 50
Manistee — 178
Mason — 160
Mecosta — 199
Missaukee — 69
Newaygo — 185
Oceana — 148
Wexford — 196
DHD#10 is hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics in all 10 counties with clinics scheduled through Saturday in many of the DHD#10 locations. These clinics are by appointment only and are not walk-in clinics. Clinics are only for those in Phase 1A and some in Phase 1B, including Persons 65-plus, First Responders (police and fire), and jail/corrections staff. Due to limited vaccine supply, the health department cannot accommodate anyone without an appointment, and is unable to schedule any additional appointments until more vaccine is available. DHD#10 will post the Electronic Scheduling Form on its website at www.dhd10.org sometime this week when it is notified how much vaccine the state is sending. DHD#10 is currently working with other community resources and partners to offer an alternative to scheduling for those who do not have access to the internet. It will notify the public as soon as that option is launched.
“What’s important to realize is we cannot order more vaccine than we are able to push out through vaccine clinics,” stated Hughes. “And we cannot schedule appointments if we do not have enough vaccine. We also must administer every vaccine in a vial once opened or they will spoil, so if a clinic only has three people registered, we may not be able to host it. We will be making adjustments frequently along the way while vaccine supply is limited.”
Vaccine allocation is distributed at the federal level to each state and then states must determine how much to give to each hospital system and health department across the state.
The general timeline for ordering and receiving the vaccine works like this (at least for now while it is uncertain how much vaccine is allotted each week):
Each week, the health department places its vaccine order with the state by Thursday at noon.
The state notifies the health department by Friday or Monday the allotment to be received.
The vaccine is delivered to its location on Tuesday or Wednesday and is distributed to the ten counties on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The health department can then host vaccine clinics Fridays and Saturdays
If there is enough vaccine from the week previous, the health department can open up more clinics earlier in the week
This past week, DHD#10 requested 3,900 doses of the vaccine and had some vaccine supply from the previous week. It launched the Electronic Scheduling Form Jan. 7 to schedule clinics for the next week. Over 7,000 people schedule in a 14-hour period. DHD#10 was notified that the health department was only receiving 975 vaccines from the state, which prompted it to shut down scheduling until it could receive enough vaccine to accommodate those who already scheduled. Fortunately, it was able to secure enough vaccine from regional partners to accommodate most of the individuals who scheduled.
“Until the vaccine supply is more readily available, there may continue to be shifts, adjustments, cancellations and reschedules in the foreseeable future,” Hughes said.
“We will have to make last minute changes and all our plans may go out the window, but please know we are doing everything humanly possible to get this vaccine out to those in the priority groups and then to anyone who wants it. We ask for continued patience as we work through this challenging and important effort.”
At this time, the health department asks that individuals refrain from calling to ask about scheduling the vaccine. The health department will continue to keep communities updated via press release, social media, its website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and its Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to the Public Health Alert, please do so at www.dhd10.org/subscribe.