COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

COVID-19 Update - 2/12/21

Nearly 1,000 of our community’s most vulnerable citizens received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at our drive-thru mass vaccination clinic on Thursday at The Dow. Cars pulled right onto the arena floor and drove around to one of 24 vaccination stations manned by health department nurses, National Guard medics, and CMU medical students. There, vehicle occupants — primarily 80 years of age and older — rolled up their sleeves and breathed a sigh of relief at getting their long-awaited shots. 
In scheduling the event, we quickly learned that transportation (many don’t drive any longer) and safety (walking on slippery winter surfaces and standing in line) are barriers for vaccinating this population. So, if drivers over the age of 65 brought someone 80+, we vaccinated them too — all in the warmth and safety of their vehicle.

Events of this magnitude and logistical complexity take great partnerships. As we look forward to doing more of these clinics as doses allow, we must thank:

The Dow Event Center staff
Ascension St. Mary’s
CMU Medical School
CMU Health
Michigan National Guard
Saginaw County Emergency Manager Lt. Mark Przybylski 
Denron Inc
Saginaw Police Department
Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office
Saginaw County Road Commission
Saginaw City Streets Department
Molina Health Care of Michigan (for donating lunch to feed vaccination teams) 

Those who have called for the event should NOT be alarmed or concerned. No one who wants a vaccine will be left behind. Large clinics like this will allow the health department to get through this group more quickly and fairly and will occur more often now as doses allow.
 
Other Saginaw County Health Department neighborhood-based clinic locations will be offered throughout the county in an effort to bring the vaccine closer to those receiving it. All are planned as indoor drive-thru events for the safety and convenience of the senior population.

COVID-19 Update - 2/8/21

As an integral part of our vaccine roll-out plan, we are launching the first of several “neighborhood-based” mass vaccination clinics this week on Thursday, Feb 11, 9am-4pm at The Dow in downtown Saginaw.

The event is a drive-thru clinic for Saginaw County adults 80 years of age and older. Since logistics require closure of Washington/M13 near the Dow to enable drivers to enter the west side of the building and drive onto the arena floor, this clinic will be “by appointment only” to manage traffic flow. Members of the Michigan National Guard will check cars upon arrival to ensure people have an appointment for the event. Once on the arena floor, cars will drive to one of 24 vaccination stations manned by health department nurses and staff, CMU Medical School students and faculty, and Michigan National Guard medics and soldiers.

Those scheduled for the clinic will hear from the health department this week for their appointment time. 

Those who have registered and do NOT get a call for this event should NOT be alarmed or concerned. No one who wants a vaccine will be left behind. Large clinics like this will allow the health department to get through this group more quickly and fairly and will occur more often now as doses allow.

Other Saginaw County Health Department neighborhood-based clinic locations will be offered throughout the county in an effort to bring the vaccine closer to those receiving it. All are planned as indoor drive-thru events for the safety and convenience of the senior population.

With this inaugural clinic on Thursday, the health department plans to vaccinate more than 1,000 people. This will make another significant dent in the 5,000+ people registered with the health department who are over the age of 80.

COVID-19 Update - 1/29/21

Phase 1B prioritizing Groups A (adults 65+) in parallel with Group B (some essential workers including pre-kindergarten through high school, childcare, fire, police, corrections, homeless shelters, adult/child protective services). 
 
Within the “adults 65 and older” age category, the health department is initially prioritizing adults 80+ because of the disproportionate number of deaths in that age group.
 
Vaccinations clinic activity: We have been scheduling clinics with pods of people who have reserved a dose on our website as doses allow, working together as a county to cover those in Phase 1A – our healthcare workers and EMS – as well as Groups A and B in Phase 1B. The Saginaw County Health Department, Covenant HealthCare, SVSU/Meijer, and Ascension St. Mary’s have held more than 10 mass vaccination clinics over the last three weeks in addition to smaller clinics. These have been scheduled by appointment only and were not open for walk-ins. 
 
Timeline: In Saginaw County, we receive roughly 3,000 doses weekly (for first AND second doses). Our Phase 1B population exceeds 50,000 people. If we continue to get 3,000 doses a week, it will take us 8 months to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1B with first and second doses. 
 
We are continuously advocating for more doses from the state and, if we get more, we hope to complete adults 65+ by early April when we will begin scheduling remaining critical infrastructure businesses in Group C of Phase 1B.

COVID-19 Update - 1/25/21

The Saginaw County Health Department, Covenant HealthCare, SVSU/Meijer, and Ascension St. Mary’s have all had mass vaccination clinics over the last two weeks. These have not been highly publicized beforehand – by design -- because they are by appointment only and are not open for walk-ins. 

These clinics, in addition to other smaller clinics held since late December, have produced encouraging results. Our county has received a total of 18,450 doses as of last week and has administered 16,000+ with zero waste. The remaining are earmarked for clinics this week.
 
It’s important to note that some of our doses administered will be attributed to other counties in state data. Some frontline health care workers vaccinated at Saginaw County hospitals reside in nearby communities, where their “doses administered” are recorded in state data.
 
Generally speaking, county vaccine providers in total receive roughly 3,000 doses each week. It changes weekly, making long-term planning difficult. We have been scheduling clinics as doses allow, working together as a county to cover those in Phase 1A – our healthcare workers and EMS – as well as Groups A and B in Phase 1B, which includes adults 65+ and prioritized critical infrastructure workers.

COVID-19 Update - 1/15/21

As part of our partnership to implement the complex task of vaccinating priority groups for COVID-19, the Saginaw County Health Department, Ascension St. Mary's and Covenant HealthCare announced jointly today that Saginaw County is wrapping up Phase 1A after vaccinating more than 7,500 healthcare workers with at least one dose and is ready to move to Phase 1B as doses allow.  
 
Phase 1B will focus on adults 65 years and older, pre-K thru 12 school and childcare staff, fire/police, corrections workers, and staff at homeless shelters and child & protective services – followed by workers in critical infrastructure businesses. This group accounts for well over 20% of Saginaw County’s population, and there currently are not enough doses to vaccinate everyone. It will likely occur in smaller groups as doses become available, potentially taking several months to complete.
 
To keep phone lines open for essential patient care, please do not call the health department or the hospitals for appointments unless instructed to do so. Questions about registration or vaccination for Phase 1B should be directed to covidvaccine@saginawcounty.com.

COVID-19 Update - 01/11/21

Saginaw County has approximately 5,000 health care workers who are currently being scheduled for vaccinations as part of CDC’s Phase 1A prioritized category. Doses are extremely limited throughout Michigan, including Saginaw, and unfortunately Saginaw will NOT be vaccinating 65 years of age and older beginning on Monday, January 11th. We have started taking reservations for this age group. If you are 65 years or older, or registering on behalf of a loved one, please fill out the link here to get on our list. Someone from the Health Department will reach out once we are ready to schedule your vaccination in the coming weeks or months. If you need assistance filling out the form, please call the Saginaw County Commission on Aging at 989-797-6880.

 

COVID-19 Update - 12/30/20

The first priorities include health care workers providing direct care, people who will be vaccinating others, and residents in long-term care settings. If you are a health care worker who is not being vaccinated through a larger organization and will need to be vaccinated through the Health Department, please complete this online survey. **Other types of organizations may also complete this survey, but remember that you will not necessarily receive additional information until we move on to additional phases of vaccination

COVID-19 Update - 12/18/20

Our initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccine has arrived (975 doses)! Plans are in place to start vaccinating our vaccinators and clinic staff immediately so they can vaccinate others.  First priorities (1A) include vaccinators, long-term care facilities, EMS, and frontline heath care providers not already being vaccinated through a hospital or health system.