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Vaccine scheduling temporarily paused

ESCANABA — Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM) is temporarily pausing scheduling for COVID-19 vaccine clinics for individuals aged 65 years and above due to statewide vaccine shortage.

On Sunday evening, PHDM and other local health department and health system partners were notified that requests for vaccine in the state surpassed federal allocations for the upcoming week by more than 210,000 doses. Vaccination partners in Michigan requested 270,000 doses, while the total vaccine allocation to Michigan for the week was 60,000 doses. Even though more residents are now eligible to be vaccinated by expanding the priority groups to include key critical infrastructure personnel and those aged 65 years and above, it does not mean that everyone eligible to receive a vaccination will be able to do so immediately, local health officials said.

In a letter from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, she wrote, “We ask for your patience as we balance the equitable need across the state while trying to meet your allocation requests. The above points mean many entities will run out of vaccine in the upcoming days and may need to cancel or reschedule appointments.”

“PHDM fully anticipates that we will be impacted by the limited federal allocations to the State of Michigan. We understand that people are eager to get vaccinated and the wait is very frustrating. During the past week PHDM has been able to schedule over 2400 appointments for the vaccine with the assumption we would be getting weekly shipments of vaccine. Currently, PHDM has enough vaccine to for all appointments through at least Friday, January 15. PHDM is expecting to hear from MDHHS on Friday, January 15 if more vaccine can be expected to arrive next week,” local health officials stated in a press release.

Those who have appointments already scheduled after Friday, January 15 may be asked to “pause” while the health department awaits additional vaccine allocations. This pause means that you need to keep in mind your originally scheduled date, day, and time, and watch for upcoming media releases to notify you of any changes in the schedule.

Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM) has partnered with 2-1-1 to help ease call volumes for COVID-19 vaccine requests. Due to the limited amounts of vaccine being received locally, PHDM is no longer making appointments for the COVID vaccine. Instead, a waitlist is being developed.

Delta and Menominee county residents over the age of 65 can call 2-1-1 to be put on the waitlist to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As PHDM receives confirmation of vaccine allotments, you will be called and scheduled for an appointment.

“We know the community has had some challenges and frustration with getting through to the Health Department to schedule appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. The call volume PHDM has received over the past several days has been overwhelming for staff and for those trying to schedule appointments. Partnership with 2-1-1 will help streamline the process to be put on the waiting list and called as vaccine becomes available,” health officials said.

The health department asks that you call 2-1-1 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

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