Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Supply shortage causes COVID-19 vaccine delays in Wayne County

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 12:41 PM

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Wayne County and Henry Ford Health System are postponing some COVID-19 vaccinations because of a supply shortage.

Health officials said they’re receiving fewer vaccines than expected.

The Wayne County Public Health Department recently learned it would no longer receive the Pfizer vaccine for first doses. The county is rescheduling about 1,400 first-dose vaccine appointments that were planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We know people are frustrated with the vaccine supply shortages from the state,” Wayne County Chief Health Strategist Dr. Mouhanad Hammami said in a news release. “Our team is prepared to vaccinate more residents and better protect our communities as soon as we get more vaccine.”

The county said it’s expected to receive 5,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday. Since the vaccine must be handled differently than the Pfizer doses, health officials are adding a new indoor vaccination site at Schoolcraft College to administer the shots.

At Henry Ford, the health system only received 37% of the doses it expected to get this week. With a limited supply, the five-hospital system is prioritizing vaccinations for patients who are 65 or older, have certain high-risk conditions, or meet the state’s broader eligibility requirements, Henry Ford said in a news release.

The Henry Ford system plans to schedule up to 1,400 vaccine appointments each day through at least this week.

“The new shipment, combined with vaccine on hand, will allow us to schedule up to 1,400 appointments per day through at least this week for Henry Ford patients 65 and older and essential workers in the tri-county area, consistent with the State of Michigan’s guidance for vaccinations," the hospital system said.

About 21% of Henry Ford’s more than 30,000 employees have declined a vaccine, and another 19% have not responded to an invitation to get inoculated, as of last week. More than 18,000 employees — or about 60% of the workforce — have either received a vaccine or are scheduled to get one.

Hospitals and municipalities throughout the country have been plagued by vaccine shortages, even though demand is not as high as initially expected.

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