County Awaiting More Vaccines, Adding Partnering Agencies
(Oakland County, Feb. 19, 2021)
Pontiac, MI – Oakland County Health Division’s percentage of COVID vaccine doses administered has exceeded 99 percent to date. Of the 41,350 doses the state distributed to the Health Division since Dec. 17, 41,323 are in people’s arms. Oakland County wants to maintain its robust ability to vaccinate residents when adequate supply is available. Therefore, the Health Division has launched a network of COVID vaccine provider partnerships to whom they will distribute vaccine, County Executive Coulter announced during a news conference today.
“We’ve already vaccinated more than 41,000 people and have administered 99.9% of the doses that the state has allocated to us,” Coulter said. “But we’re ready and anxious for the time when that number jumps dramatically. We’re also excited that our new President, Joseph Biden, has chosen Michigan as one of the first stops he makes outside of the nation’s Capitol Friday. We hope his visit to the Pfizer facility in Kalamazoo, where the first Covid vaccines were produced, is a sign that we’re on the cusp of a substantial increase in the number of doses coming into the county, the state and the nation.”
Honor Community Health, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and Meijer are Oakland County’s current COVID vaccine provider partners. Oakland County Health Division is working to expand the number of partners. The requirements are that the provider partner agrees to administer at least 90 percent of the vaccine the county distributes to them within a week. The past couple weeks, Oakland County has distributed 1,950 doses to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, 975 doses to Meijer, and 300 doses to Honor Community Health.
“Oakland County Health Division has the capacity to administer up to 20,000 doses of COVID vaccine a week on our own,” Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford said. “Once adequate supply is available and we receive more than 20,000 doses a week, it will take this public-private partnership to ensure we can vaccinate residents quickly. We are establishing the provider relationships and infrastructure now, so we are ready when that moment comes.”
Honor Community Health is vaccinating group homes and its Pontiac clients with the COVID vaccine doses Oakland County is distributing to them.
“Honor Community Health is excited to be partnering with the Oakland County Health Division to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to the greater Pontiac community,” said Debra Brinson, CEO of Honor Community Health. “We look forward to ensuring that all people within the Pontiac community who would like to receive the vaccine will have access to it. This is a historic time and we are proud to be a part of vaccination efforts alongside the county.”
Coulter also released other COVID vaccine performance indicators for Oakland County Health Division:
~Oakland County’s Save Your Spot list, where residents can let the Health Division staff know they are interested in receiving the COVID vaccine, has nearly a half-million registrations so far.
~Oakland County has more than 70 long-term care facilities that were not covered by the federal contract with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to vaccinate long-term care staff and residents. To date, Oakland County Health Division has vaccinated staff and residents at 20 long-term care facilities utilizing its limited supply of vaccine.
~The Health Division has offered appointments to more than 14,000 Oakland County teachers out of about 23,000 who have signed up for the Save Your Spot list.
~There are still thousands of Phase 1A individuals who still need to be vaccinated.
In addition, Coulter unveiled a project by the county to produce video shorts to help increase confidence for residents receiving the vaccine. Designed to be shared on social media, the videos feature Oakland County residents receiving their vaccines from the Health Division at one of several vaccination sites it operates around the county and their positive experiences. The county is publishing the video shorts on the Executive Office Facebook page (@OakGov.EO). The county has produced three video shorts in the past week and will be posting more in the weeks ahead.
In related news, Coulter introduced County Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford as the next director of the Health and Human Services Department for Oakland County. Stafford replaces Kathy Forzley, who retired last week. The Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the appointment later today.
For more information about Oakland County’s Save Your Spot list or COVID vaccines, click on OaklandCountyVaccine.com.