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WAYNE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH STILL COMPLETING PRIORITY GROUPS IN PHASE 1A COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

County plans to start Phase 1B as additional vaccine is made available from state of Michigan

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. - Wayne County Public Health Department will vaccinate seniors and others priority essential workers as more vaccine becomes available from the state of Michigan, Wayne County Chief Health Strategist Mouhanad Hammami said.

For now, the county is continuing with vaccinations for nursing home residents and staff, EMS first responders and essential health care infrastructure. The county will publicly announce when people in the next phase of vaccine distribution can make appointments to receive shots.

"Wayne County continues to vaccinate individuals in Phase 1A based on the prioritization schedule and vaccine availability as directed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services," Dr. Hammami said. "The vaccine supplied has been less than requested which poses a challenge in moving through priority groups in a timely and efficient manner."

Dr. Hammami added the county has not yet received sufficient vaccine from the state of Michigan to complete vaccinations for health care infrastructure that includes dentists, providers, dialysis and pharmacies among others. As more vaccine becomes available, the county will move to the next phase of priority vaccinations: seniors 65 and older, teachers, and essential front-line workers.

On Wednesday, the state of Michigan increased the populations eligible under the vaccinating plan created by the state Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to accelerating the move to Phase 1B, the state moved up teachers, seniors older than 65 years, and front-line workers from subsequent phases. While some smaller counties may be ready to move to Phase 1B, counties like Wayne, the state's most populous, are still working through Phase 1A populations.

"We are getting people vaccinated as fast as we receive vaccine supply from the state of Michigan," Dr. Hammami added.

Currently, Wayne County receives up to 975 doses a week of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the state of Michigan. Each week Wayne County requests 4,875 vaccine doses, the maximum allowable, to meet its present demand.

Hammami said the county Health Department is working with local health providers to increase vaccine delivery capacity. He said he hopes to have increased vaccination options ready next week, in accordance with new state directives issued today.

"Everything depends on how many vaccine doses the state gives us," he said. "We remain hopeful the state will increase Wayne County's vaccine allotment to meet this increased demand."

Wayne County residents interested in knowing whether they qualify for a vaccine in Phase 1A or 1B can do so online at www.WayneCounty.com/covid19. The County will make a separate public announcement when it is ready to accept appointments for Phase 1B residents.

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