Counties not currently taking appointments,
still waiting on additional shipments from the state
ST. CLAIR COUNTY — Last week the St. Clair County Health Department started scheduling appointments for older individuals wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but within a matter of hours all the slots had been filled.
County residents 65 years and older had the chance to schedule an appointment through the health department’s website for one of two clinics being held this week at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron.
“The St. Clair County Health Department does not have any COVID vaccine appointments available at this time. Vaccine clinics this week are full. COVID-19 vaccine supplies and providers remain limited. If you are now eligible for vaccination, it does not mean vaccination is immediately available to you. Please do not call or show up unexpectedly at the Health Department,” the agency said in a Monday press release.
The health department made plans for the clinics one day after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services declared that individuals in Phase 1B and Phase 1C Group A were eligible to receive the vaccine starting January 11. At the outset, St. Clair County officials said they did not have sufficient vaccine supply for all individuals in these groups—frontline essential workers and individuals 65 years and older.
“We estimate approximately 50,000-60,000 residents will be eligible for vaccination following the State’s updated guidance. We have to prioritize groups due to limited vaccine availability. We ask for the public’s patience as we work to ensure equitable distribution of these scarce resources. As vaccine supply increases, we will expand vaccination opportunities to meet our community’s needs,” Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer, said.
Efforts are still underway to vaccinate health care workers and long-term care residents included in Phase 1A. The county is also working to schedule select frontline essential workers for upcoming vaccination clinics.
Future vaccine clinic information will be posted to their website, www.scchealth.co, on Friday afternoons but that’s dependent on vaccine allocation and shipments.
“Due to the extraordinarily high numbers of eligible individuals in the current Phase(s), there is no waiting list or form to complete at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience. Supplies are limited and are allocated through the state week by week,” the said.
As of Monday, St. Clair County reported 410 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, for a total of 7,658. The week prior there were 417 new cases.
Twenty-three residents have died from the virus since Jan. 5 as compared to 19 the week prior.
One statistic that saw a dramatic decrease was the county number of “active” cases. As of Monday it stood at 2,829—a drop of more than 400 from the week prior.
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In Lapeer County, the health department is also urging residents to remain patient. They continue to receive a large volume of inquiries from the public but Director Kathy Haskins said they don’t have the extra doses to administer currently.
The county continues to work with their limited supplies to vaccinate health care workers, Haskins said, but they don’t anticipate receiving another shipment of the Moderna vaccine until the week of January 24, noting that some of the supply has been diverted to long term care facilities.
“Right now we’re doing 80-85 vaccinations a day at the Lower Level of the Health Dept,” Haskins told county commissioners on Thursday.
She said the department has been in contact with school districts about setting up times for staff clinics and they are considering doing a drive-thru clinic for police and firefighters.
Haskins said they’ve also had discussions with local Kroger pharmacies about partnering to administer the vaccine once they can get the necessary supplies.
As of Monday, Jan. 11, Lapeer County saw an additional 154 COVID-19 cases in the past week, a slight increase from the 133 reported the week earlier. The county’s virus deaths now total 102, an increase of three since Jan. 5. The week prior there had been just two deaths.
The county’s positive test rate of 11.3 percent exceeds the state average of 9.4 percent.
“While the metrics had been showing improvement, today’s figures indicate a turn in the wrong direction, perhaps related to gatherings over the holiday weekend,” Haskins said on Monday.
“As of this morning there were 19 confirmed cases hospitalized locally, with six in ICU, of which five were on a ventilators.”