Response to COVID vaccine overwhelms system

  • COVID-19 Local Update
    COVID-19 Local Update

Due to the huge response for the COVID-19 vaccine, District 2 Public Health Departments' phone lines, call center and website are overwhelmed, according to a statement from Dave Palmer, public information officer for District 2 Public Health, Monday. 

"We ask that everyone be patient. We understand that everyone is anxious, but everyone who wants the vaccine will be given the opportunity to get vaccinated," Palmer said. 

He said that residents are asked to be patient as the vaccine and access to the vaccine become more readily acceptable. 

"Currently, there is a limited supply of vaccine available at a small number of providers. But, as more vaccine is shipped to additional enrolled providers, access to appointments will improve over the days and weeks ahead," Palmer said. 

Palmer said that District 2 Public Health is adding staff to help with the vaccine administration.

It's also partnering with other health care providers, colleges and universities to utilize nursing students, paramedics, and other health care professionals to help vaccinate residents, Palmer noted. 

Palmer said that special clinics are being scheduled where large groups of people can be vaccinated at one time.

An announcement will be made when the staffing and vaccine are available, and appointments will be required, Palmer said. 

"The special clinics will require larger venues where people can safely social distance while being vaccinated and then wait the required observation time after being vaccinated," Palmer said. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine that's given 21 or 28 days apart depending on the manufacturer, Palmer explained. He said that the Pfizer vaccine is 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine is 28 days apart. 

"This means that appointments for the second dose must be scheduled when the first dose is received. This process also places some limits on the speed at which the vaccine can be given," Palmer said. "We continue to place orders for more vaccines as we administer the vaccine on hand. This will keep our vaccine supply line going."