Midland County Department of Public Health
COVID-19 Vaccination Update 2.3.21
By Chloe Updegraff, MPH
Director of Health Communications at Midland County Department of Public Health
Beginning in early January, as part of the vaccination guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Midland County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has worked diligently to vaccinate people age 65 and better against the COVID-19 virus. This vaccination guidance allows the health department to vaccinate older adults in the Midland area concurrently with school personnel and frontline essential workers. Senior Services has been a fantastic partner in helping coordinate our drive-thru clinics where we have been able to safely vaccinate many community members. As of January 31, 2021, the combined efforts of MCDPH, MidMichigan Health and the Long Term Care Pharmacy Program have vaccinated 1,942 adults age 65 and older, out of a population of approximately 14,000.
While the health department is excited about the prospect of continued vaccination clinics for more community members in group 1B, the current situation is one of high demand and low supply. Many folks in priority groups 1A and 1B have already filled out our online vaccine interest form (or have called the health department for assistance), allowing for a smoother scheduling process when more vaccination clinics are offered. Filling out our interest form is the best way to indicate your interest in receiving a vaccine, however, with the current low supply of vaccines, the department has not yet been able to contact or vaccinate everyone in the early priority groups who is interested. This can most certainly be frustrating for community members, and we greatly appreciate the patience we are being shown as we navigate this landscape.
MCDPH is hopeful that in the coming weeks, our supply will increase and allow us to vaccinate more folks in the 65 and better age group. Updates will be provided in local news media, on the MCDPH webpage and Facebook page (@Midland County Department of Public Health), on our COVID-19 hotline (989.839.4665), and through community nonprofit networks. The health department will continue to call people who have indicated interest in the vaccine and will partner with Senior Services to provide safe, physically distanced vaccination clinics.
There is a lot of positive news on the horizon, but we are also seeing some negative news that could overshadow our progress in getting folks vaccinated. MCDPH along with the Midland Police Department wants Midland area older adults to be aware of scammers that are looking to take advantage of the high interest in the COVID-19 vaccine. Scammers have been calling local residents posing as the health department and/or healthcare providers and asking for personal identification information (such as social security numbers) in order to “schedule” someone for vaccination. MCDPH will not ask for your social security number when we call to schedule for vaccination appointments. If you receive a call asking for your social security number, hang up immediately and do not provide this information. Please help other community members by making sure your friends, family, and neighbors are aware of this ongoing scam.
The vaccine has brought a lot of hope to Midland County, and MCDPH is excited to be part of the vaccination process. Still, even with so much hope on the horizon, it is imperative that community members continue to mask up, maintain distance, frequently wash hands, and limit interactions outside of direct household members. These public health measures have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and will need to be continued even after someone receives the COVID-19 vaccine. The community’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus will pay off, and we will get through this (with a sprinkle of patience). It has been a tough 10 months, but we, as a community, can continue to Spread Hope, Not COVID.