Oakland County said it needs more COVID-19 vaccine to meet demand, and Executive Dave Coulter is urging the state to increase the county’s allotment and expand the number of providers administering it.
Still in the early stages of the vaccine rollout, Oakland County has received more vaccine than any other county in the state, but the supply remains limited. The health division is vaccinating top priority individuals, such as emergency medical personnel, health care workers and long-term care facility residents.
The health division is looking forward to vaccinating the next priority group — police officers, prison and jail workers, K-12 teachers, child care providers and those age 65 and older — but Coulter is asking for “their patience because the number of appointments available is limited to the number of doses we have received from the state.”
Coulter said the county’s Nurse on Call line is “flooded with questions about appointment availability.”
As of Wednesday, the county health division said it has received 5,850 doses of vaccine and administered 1,868 doses, according to its website. The county is receiving the Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra-cold freezers.
Hospitals in Oakland County are the other locations receiving vaccines.
Overall, the county has received 69,050 doses of vaccine as of Tuesday. That’s more than triple neighboring Wayne County’s allotment (not including Detroit) of 20,175 doses and more than double Macomb County’s 26,725 doses.
Each week, local health departments and hospitals put in orders for the following week, Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said Wednesday. He said the department examines their current inventory and the unmet need based on their 1A, or top priority, population estimate before allocating additional doses.
“We have allocated vaccine to entities based on what they request and what they believe they can administer, and if we find that an entity may not have the capacity to administer vaccines we will provide support so that the county or city still has appropriate access,” he said.
Wheaton added: “We have already enrolled over 800 providers (over half of those just in the last week) in the vaccination program and will be looking to quickly engage as many partners as is feasible with our current limited allocation to quickly vaccinate Michiganders, focusing on those who are most vulnerable.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday the state will start vaccinating more in the fight against the global pandemic, starting next week. She said local health departments are offering appointments through their websites and encouraged people to sign up quickly.
Coulter encouraged people to visit the county’s vaccine website for the latest on the county’s vaccine supply and scheduling appointments.
This morning, the county’s website indicated there are no available vaccine appointments and that appointments will be added based on the vaccine supply received from the state.
A person can register for updates on COVID-19 vaccine appointment information by registering an email address or texting OAKGOV to 28748, according to the county website.
Contact Christina Hall: email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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