TAWAS CITY – Members of the Iosco County Board of Commissioners gave an update on District Health Department No. 2’s (DHD2) efforts to roll out the vaccinations for COVID-19.
The update took place during a Feb. 3 meeting, held via video conferencing. Commissioner Terry Dutcher, who is also a member on the board of health, gave the update.
Dutcher told commissioners that at a recent DHD2 meeting, members of the board were given updates and background on how the immunization effort is going in the district’s four-county coverage area. He said there has been a ground-spring of people vying to get the vaccine, but very limited supplies coming in to meet the demand.
“They gave us some of the problems they are having and what they were coming up with and how to address them,” he said. “I believe everyone at the health department are doing a marvelous job, they are doing a great job of getting the word out and the vaccines out.”
Dutcher said he was informed that there were a few problems that were going on with communications about the vaccines, and some of the elderly’s ability to get information about when and where vaccine clinics are being held, and where they can register.
“As I stated some of our elderly do not have the availability of technology, they are not very prevalent in the use of computers, and they are not getting the information on when and where on the vaccinations are taking place,” Dutcher said. “I made a suggestion that we try to get it out into the newspaper, out on the radio and the television stations.”
Dutcher said there are still a great number of people who have signed up for vaccinations but have yet to get the shot because the shots are just not available yet.
Commissioner John Moehring agreed, however, that DHD2 was working hard to get the shots they have now out to the public.
“I have to agree with the vaccines,” he said. “If you don’t have a computer you have to call on the phone and that is almost impossible to get through, they are doing the best they can and they are doing an excellent job.”
Moehring said he recently got a vaccination shot, and in his experience everything went smooth at the clinic, he said they got him in, got him out, and “everything went smoothly.”
“I can’t say enough for what they are doing but their hands are pretty much tied,” he said. “Without a computer, it’s pretty difficult (to register) and they probably don’t have the staff to man the phones.”
Chairman Jay O’Farrell, who is also the chairman of the DHD2 board, said that Dutcher informed the board of commissioners quite well on the happenings of DHD2. He said there have been issues with vaccinations in the state. He informed commissioners that the chairman of District Health Department No. 4, a neighboring health department, was shorted 3,000 doses of the vaccine.
“But they have come up with 1,900 more doses, but they are going to fulfill the obligation with the second round of inoculation before we get into providing more first rounds,” O’Farrell said. “This is a whole new program that no one has ever experienced before, but we’re getting the job done at the district health level, we just have to deal with the supply that we are getting out of Lansing.”