WAYNE COUNTY — Wayne County Executive Warren Evans met with state officials and Governor Whitmer’s staff to discuss a problem with equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Wayne County, one of the epicenters of the virus in the state, has been receiving fewer doses of the vaccines than less populous counties.
County officials say the supply remains insufficient to quickly get vaccinations to health providers, educators and other high-priority essential workers currently being vaccinated. Evans met with state officials on Thursday to demand the county receive its fair share of the available doses.
On Friday the state announced that Wayne County will receive 8,375 first doses of the vaccine next week, an increase from the 4,350 doses the county received this week. But that amount is still less than what some other smaller community health departments have received.
“I am fighting to ensure Wayne County receives the number of doses it needs based on a fair and equitable formula that reflects our population, the higher social vulnerability of many of our residents and our status as Michigan’s most diverse county,” Evans said. “I appreciate that the state is working to distribute a very limited vaccine supply to the entire state, but I think more work is needed to ensure a reliable and equitable supply.”
County residents 65 years of age and older are being vaccinated through other local health systems, under an agreement between Wayne County and those health systems. This agreement helps prioritize senior residents while the county public health division focuses on health providers, educators and other high-priority essential workers.
Evans told state officials the disparity in vaccine allotment was slowing the county’s efforts to vaccinate health providers, educators and other high-priority essential workers under the state’s Phase 1A and Phase 1B distribution plan.
“I will continue to press the state of Michigan until the Wayne County Public Health Division receives the amount of vaccine required to meet the needs of its residents,” Evans said.
Starting Tuesday, Wayne County will begin vaccinating K-12 teachers and education workers at its vaccination sites located at the VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, Livonia and a new location at the Wayne County Community College Downriver Campus in Taylor, which opens next week. Teachers and education workers will be contacted by their individual school district or school administrator and informed of their scheduled time to receive the vaccine.
Besides the 8,375 first doses, Wayne County will also receive 2,925 second doses next week, which will be administered to residents who were first vaccinated three weeks ago. The county will receive both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in next week’s shipment.
For more information about Wayne County’s vaccine program, please visit: www.waynecounty.com/covid19.