YPSILANTI, MI — The Washtenaw County Health Department will be expanding vaccinations efforts to include more groups next week, according to a news release Thursday.
The health department is actively vaccinating healthcare workers in Phase 1A, providing and distributing over 2,200 vaccinations to EMS, medical first responders and frontline health care workers throughout local healthcare facilities, the health department said.
Beginning Monday, Jan. 11, Washtenaw County will schedule for the next phase, which includes older adults and some essential workers.
On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its vaccine priority guidance and has authorized local health departments to begin vaccinating people age 65 years or older, and frontline, essential workers with frequent or ongoing exposure as a part of their work. This includes some, but not all essential workers previously designated in 1B. First responders, police officers, jail and prison staff, pre-K-12 teachers and childcare providers are included.
“In Washtenaw County, this represents thousands of newly eligible individuals,” officials said in the release. “Vaccine availability still depends on both vaccine supply and staffing capacity. Please be patient. We cannot vaccinate everyone eligible immediately.”
For those now eligible under the revised guidance, scheduling information will be available on the health department website by Monday.
At the health department, which has approximately 160 regular and temporary staff, only those who have been working at the in-person vaccine clinic have been offered vaccination, according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson.
“We did as much vaccination as we could in the non-holiday days of the last two weeks,” Ringler-Cerniglia said in an email Wednesday. “Five to ten have indicated they are waiting because of health concerns (such as allergies or pregnancy). On our initial survey of staff willingness to vaccinate, only four indicated they were not likely to get vaccinated.”
Officials ask that the public review available information before calling the health department, and to keep in mind that your scheduled appointment may be weeks away depending on overall supplies and capacity.
Individuals eligible through their employment should expect scheduling information through their employers. The health department is asking anyone eligible in 1A but not yet vaccinated though a local health system to complete a survey.
“We appreciate your patience as we prepare for these upcoming vaccination phases… Please be assured we are vaccinating as quickly as we can and are sharing information as we have it,” officials said.
READ MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:
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Washtenaw County ramping up COVID-19 vaccination efforts after ‘slower’ start
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Washtenaw County will begin to expand vaccination eligibility – MLive.com