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Late order cost Muskegon County Public Health one-week supply of vaccine

Muskegon County Public Health Director Kathy Moore tells 13 ON YOUR SIDE the county's vaccine order last Thursday was two-hours late, and not processed by the state.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Just two-hours late, but a missed ordering deadline that cost Muskegon County Public Health a one-week supply of vaccine. 

The amount of doses that would have been delivered by the state to the health department this week is unknown. What is know is the state didn't send any new doses of vaccine to the health department this week.

“The state just called us yesterday and said they looked at the request, it came in around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday and they wanted it in by noon," Moore said Friday during a Zoom call updating Muskegon County community members on the progress of vaccine distribution. "They made their decisions based on that timeline.”

Moore thanked Mercy Health Muskegon for sharing some of the hospital's vaccine supply so Muskegon County Public Health could continue vaccinating individuals ages 75 and older.

“When we realized we weren’t getting doses this week Mercy Health transferred a couple of hundred doses over," said Moore. "Thanks to our partnership with Mercy Health, Public Health was able to continue vaccinating that high-risk venerable population, and they're appreciative of the opportunity to get vaccinated and so thank you,” Moore said.

Public Health, and Mercy Health Muskegon are both expecting new shipments of vaccine Monday or Tuesday next week. Some of the supply will be used to provide second doses for individuals who already had a first dose. The rest of the shipment, an unknown number, will be available for individuals to receive a first dose.

"We'll continue to advocate to the state to get as many vaccines as we can and we know we'll be prepared to distribute," said Mercy Health Muskegon President Gary Allore.

Friday Mercy Health Muskegon was treating 45 COVID-19 patients, including 18 currently in the hospital's intensive care unit. 

Dr. Mark Foreman predicts it will be months before enough of the community will be vaccinated to have a dramatic impact on community spread and also reduce the stress Mercy Health Muskegon staff are working under.

"When there's a death the staff cries together, and when people go home who we've got connected to we've had the chance to line the halls and celebrate," said Foreman. "I want to be another advocate for people signing up and getting this vaccine."

If Dr. Foreman could write a community prescription for Muskegon County it call for daily doses of patience and kindness.

"Check on your family, check on your neighbors, a few minutes for a phone call and generosity goes a long ways," said Foreman.

Muskegon County residents over the age of 65 can begin the process of requesting the vaccine by visiting www.maskupmuskegon.org

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