Vaccine distribution issues in rural counties

COVID-19 Vaccine

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — State health officials say Michigan is about to change how it distributes vaccines. The state will decide how many doses of the vaccine providers get, helping them prioritize vulnerable areas, like rural towns.

According to county data, healthcare workers have administered more than 8,600 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to people living in Allegan County, but the county itself has only received about 5,800 doses from the state.

The discrepancy has to do with a couple things — people getting their vaccine through work or the federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens to make sure long-term care facilities get vaccines.

If someone is part of the federal program or gets vaccinated through their job in another county, their dose does not count toward doses allocated to the county but does count toward their doses administered.

Some county officials say if you can’t get an appointment for a vaccine in your home county, you may be better off looking elsewhere. 

“What we have been putting out on our weekly press releases is if you’re eligible and you haven’t received an appointment yet from us, please look at some partner organizations,” Allegan County Public Information Officer Lindsay Maunz said. “These include Meijer pharmacy, also Spectrum Hope Haven, and then also the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic. That has been a big effort that has been led by Kent County, Spectrum Health and other partners. However, we’re working with all of West Michigan individuals to vaccinate them. But that’s a great opportunity if people don’t have transportation as a barrier.”

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