Sparrow Health System recently vaccinated 200 Lansing city employees including Mayor Andy Schor as a part of an invitation-only pilot program, but according to Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail in a media briefing Tuesday, it has not created a set-back in COVID-19 vaccine availability.
There has been a course correction made to account for the vaccinations, Vail said.
Director of the Division of Immunization at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Robert Swanson met with health officials Tuesday informing them to vaccinate Phase 1B Group A and B, which includes those 75 years of age and older, pre-K through high school teachers, support staff, child care workers, first responders, corrections workers and workers in homeless shelters, congregate care institutions and protective services.
According to Vail, rather than going into Group C, covering food and agriculture workers, public transit workers, grocery store employees and U.S. Postal Service workers, Swanson told officials to skip ahead to vaccinate those between 65 and 74 years of age.
The error likely was a result of a misinterpretation, Vail said. Her understanding is the pilot program was a one-time operational pilot before opening public clinics, though it should have been relative to those who are eligible.
“I’ve been paying close attention to this guidance and I guess there was a misunderstanding relative to all of these things,” Vail said. “But we still do have teachers, we still do have daycare providers to vaccinate. We actually still have some 1A people who basically need to be vaccinated and we certainly need to be vaccinating our 75 and over as well as that 65-74 (age group).”
Sparrow began distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to those 70 and older and other members of the 1B vaccination prioritization group on Jan. 19 at the Sparrow Laboratories Drive-Thru Services site in Lansing. At that time, an estimated 83,000 people were currently eligible to become vaccinated.
As of Monday, 15,149 doses of the vaccine have been received and 12,202 doses have been administered or scheduled this week.
There are currently 14,059 total cases of COVID-19 in Ingham County to date and 241 deaths.
Current hospitalizations Sparrow and McLaren Health Systems total 94 confirmed and suspected cases with 14 ventilated and 14 in the intensive care unit.
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