Washtenaw County to Begin Expanding Vaccination Eligibility



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YPSILANTI, MI – The Washtenaw County Health Department will expand its vaccination efforts to include more groups next week, according to a press release Thursday.

The health department is actively vaccinating health workers in phase 1A, supplying and distributing more than 2,200 vaccines to EMSs, medical first responders and frontline health workers at local health facilities, the department said. of health.

Starting Monday, January 11, Washtenaw County will host the next phase, which will include older adults and some essential workers.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday updated its vaccine priority guidelines and authorized local health departments to begin immunizing people 65 years of age or older, as well as essential frontline workers with frequent or continuous exposure in the course of their work. This includes some, but not all of the essential workers previously identified in 1B. First responders, police, prison and prison staff, K-12 teachers, and child care providers are included.

“In Washtenaw County, this represents thousands of newly eligible people,” officials said in the statement. “The availability of vaccines always depends on both vaccine supply and personnel capacity. Please be patient. We cannot immediately immunize all eligible people. “

For those who are now eligible under the revised guidelines, planning information will be available on the health department’s website by Monday.

In the health department, which has around 160 regular and temporary employees, only those who worked at the in-person immunization clinic were offered the immunization, according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, spokesperson for the County Health Department. Washtenaw.

“We’ve done as many vaccinations as possible during the non-vacation days of the past two weeks,” Ringler-Cerniglia said in an email Wednesday. “Five in ten said they were waiting because of health issues (like allergies or pregnancy). In our initial investigation of staff willingness to be vaccinated, only four indicated that they were not likely to be vaccinated. “

Officials are asking the public to review available information before calling health care, and keep in mind that your scheduled appointment may be weeks away depending on overall supplies and capacity.

Those eligible through their jobs should expect information on schedules from their employers. The Department of Health asks anyone eligible for 1A but not yet vaccinated by a local health system to complete a survey.

“We thank you for your patience as we prepare for these next rounds of vaccination … Rest assured that we are vaccinating as quickly as possible and sharing the information as we have it,” officials said.

READ MORE ABOUT ANN ARBOR NEWS:

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Washtenaw County Steps Up COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts After ‘Slower’ Start

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