Ingham County is hoping to triple the number of COVID-19 vaccinations given out next week to those in the open priority groups, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a media briefing Tuesday.
The current hope, Vail said, is to provide 3,000 vaccines within a three-day span. While in previous weeks the department had received 975 doses a week, next week they will receive 1,950 of the first dose plus an additional 975 second doses for those who were vaccinated three weeks prior.
Recent surveys conducted by the department show about 60% of respondents plan to get the vaccine, Vail said. This corresponds with national numbers from a Pew Research Center study, which showed 60% of Americans surveyed in November reported they would definitely or probably get a vaccine for COVID-19, up from 51% reported in September.
According to the study, while about 40% say they would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, nearly half of this group reported it’s possible they would decide to do so once more information becomes available and other people start getting vaccinated.
Vail said it’s important to keep in mind what the local surveys are capturing. While the national surveys look to get an overall idea of what can be expected, the local surveys conducted through employers help give an idea of how many people will be coming through the clinic to get vaccinated in a given week.
“When those people decline, some of it was because it’s the holidays and if (they) have an adverse reaction (they) don’t really want to be sick on Christmas,” Vail said. “The other is some are saying ‘I will, but not quite yet. I want to watch this process unroll for a little while longer.'"
In many cases, an employer may stagger out vaccination distribution to prepare for adverse reactions, Vail said. If an entire department gets vaccinated and feel sick for a day, they don’t want a number of workers out sick at the same time.
As of Tuesday, Vail said the county’s hospital systems are largely vaccinated, and they have begun a soft opening for Phase 1B of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Vaccine Prioritization Guidance. This consists of front-line essential workers, including law enforcement and emergency service workers, and individuals 75 years of age and older.
Once a group is officially opened, those within it may get vaccinated at any time as long as they schedule an appointment, Vail said.
According to the MDHHS Vaccine Dashboard, 520,150 vaccines have been distributed across the state and 140,245 doses have been administered.
In Ingham County, 2,620 doses have been administered and 20,875 vaccines have been distributed.
Currently, 845 Michigan provider sites are enrolled in the vaccination program, 22 of which are in Ingham County.
To date, numbers in Ingham County show 12,753 cases of COVID-19 and 189 deaths. In the last four weeks, the county has averaged 15-16 deaths per week. Hospitalizations in Sparrow and McLaren Health Systems report 147 confirmed and suspected cases. Of these, 10 are ventilated and 17 are in the intensive care unit.
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