Washtenaw County Expands Number Of People Eligable To Be Vaccinated

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Washtenaw County Health is expanding the number of people eligible to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus. Starting March 22, Washtenaw residents 50 to older can now register online to be put on the vaccination schedule, regardless of their health. The expansion is also open to anyone 16 or older with underlying health conditions.

“It’s a very long list,” Washtenaw County Health Public Information Officer Susan Ringler-Cerniglia told the Sun Times News in an interview by phone.

Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

Caregivers to people with medical disabilities may also be eligible, according to a press release from the Washtenaw County Health Department. Also eligible will be “essential workers under 1B that have not been previously eligible under state guidance,” the press release reads. “This includes grocery store workers, restaurant workers, veterinarians and other essential workers.”

The scattershot and haphazard distribution system has been steadily improving over the last few weeks. But the amount of supply is still only known to the county on a week by week basis, and orders delivered are still often falling short of what is supposed to be delivered.

As a result, the WCHD admits that “it could take weeks” to be scheduled, depending on the ever-changing vaccine supply chain. The waiting list was at least 7,000 people long before the change was announced, Monday.

Ringler-Cerniglia said that the County is deploying between 7,000 and 8,000 vaccinations per week at their two mass vaccination centers. The Ypsilanti location at Eastern Michigan University is averaging 4,500 vaccinations per week, while the Chelsea location is only averaging 300 to 350 per week because it is so far only open on Tuesdays, she said.

“What we’re finding when we offer appointments because there’s other options out now, and many people are actively looking for options, we’re only getting about half or a third of those that we’re offering appointments to, that are actually taking them,” Ringler-Cerniglia said.

The county is only one of an ever growing list of sources to get vaccinated against a disease that, according to the World Health Organization, has taken he lives of at least 2,709,041 people across the planet. The United States has accounts for about a quarter of the deaths.

A full list of vaccination sources is available on the Washtenaw County Health Department’swebsite. This list includes all local healthcare sources, theBig House, pharmacies at someMeijer
andRite Aid locations and a recently opened vaccination site at Ford Field. The list is not exhaustive and not all pharmacies are delivering the vaccination and the County is recommending that people looking at that option call their local pharmacies to ask if they are vaccinating people.

The link to the vaccination scheduling app is available here: Washtenaw County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling (alchemer.com)

Image Credit: Both images utilized in this article were provided by the WCHD. 

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