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Lansing-area health departments scrambling to secure second doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Covid Vaccine Booster Shot
Posted at 7:37 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 19:37:58-05

Here in Michigan, the line for the COVID vaccine is growing but the state supply isn’t following suit. Health departments are scrambling to secure enough second doses for Michiganders who have already received their first dose.

Health officials and politicians are asking everyone to stay patient.

“Next week is going to be a rough week,” said Mid-Michigan District Health Department’s Marcus Cheatham.

Despite the shortages impacting multiple states, Michigan officials are still asking people to register for the vaccine as soon as they’re eligible.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Ghilchrist took to social media Friday afternoon to applaud frontline workers at the TCF Center in Detroit for their vaccination efforts and to remind Michiganders to register for the shot when they can.

“I just want to remind everyone the vaccine is available to anyone who is 65 years or older and frontline healthcare workers,” Gilchrist said.

Local health departments across the state are slowing down first dose administration to keep up with people who need the second shot.

Cheatham says, with a two-shot vaccine, it’s important to pay close attention to the timeframe between first and second doses. Second doses need to be prioritized to make sure patients receive the full amount required within a specific timeframe.

“Across the country, but in Michigan, we have healthcare workers now who don’t have that second dose. They gave it to someone and the replacement dose never came. It was never there,” Cheatham said.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department, which serves Clinton, Gratiot, and Montcalm counties, is lending some of their available doses to health departments across the state facing shortages.

“We have plenty of second doses but the state wants to borrow from us for those places where they don’t have enough,” Cheatham said.

Local health officials are optimistic about an increase in federal vaccine supply expected to come in March.

“MDHHS has told us the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is going to be partnering with local health departments in March to put up some really big clinics … folks just need to be patient for the next few weeks before things really open up,” Cheatham said.

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