Vaccine Demand in Ingham County Exceeds Health Department's Capabilities

Vaccine Demand in Ingham County Exceeds Health Department's Capabilities

LANSING, MI - The Ingham County Health Department sent out a press release on Monday, January 11th stating that more than 12,000 people have scheduled appointments to get their first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine, however, there are thousands of eligible people still waiting to make an appointment due to the limited supply of the vaccine.

Most of the newly scheduled appointments belong to people age 70 and above, followed by teachers, school staff, and child care workers. Between December 21st and January 6th, 3,057 healthcare workers received the vaccine through ICHD.

“The demand for the vaccine is overwhelming,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “We are working as fast as we can, but the outpouring of people has caused some technical glitches as well as a sizeable backlog of calls and emails. I ask the public to please be patient with health department staff as we try to assist everyone. Many people are desperate to get the shot or to see a loved one get the shot. We feel their sense of urgency and will press forward until everyone who wants the vaccine can get it.”

According to the press release, ICHD estimates that there are 83,000 people in Ingham County who are eligible for the vaccine, but are unable to receive it. At the moment, ICHD is only able to vaccinate around 2,000 people per week.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced yesterday that she has requested authorization to directly purchase up to 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. She sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar with her request, and also noted that the Trump Administration never responded to hers and eight other governors requests to distribute millions of doses currently being held back.

However, as of 11am on Tuesday, January 12th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will grant Gov. Whitmer and the eight other governors' request to release the COVID-19 vaccine. More details to come when they're available.

Those who have received links to schedule a vaccination appointment but are unable to find any openings are encouraged to visit the link every day until they’re able to secure an appointment. ICHD is also stressing that people keep the appointments they book unless they absolutely need to cancel. If that is the case, they should cancel the appointment via the scheduling email. Missing an appointment could mean that a dose of the vaccine gets spoiled.

In order to be vaccinated by ICHD, people must fill out a registration form. When their vaccination priority group is eligible, the person will then receive a link to schedule an appointment. To view or fill out the registration form, visit the link below.

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