More Covid-19 vaccinations were administered in Somerset on Tuesday while other cities including Monticello have been waiting on additional vaccines. The LCDHD has issued a statement which helps to clarify the current state of vaccinations in the area.
The statement says the district health department have received numerous questions about why different counties in the state are at different places with their COVID-19 vaccine administration response. For the moment, all counties are supposed to still be primarily focused on Phase 1a (medical staff, and nursing homes). However, since the Moderna vaccines come in shipments of 100 doses, in some occasions there may be some left-over vaccine from week to week where Phase 1a recipients can not be found.
Every provider in every county is encouraged to use this surplus vaccine. So, in some instances, some counties will vaccinate a few folks in Phase 1b (first responders, school staff, or those ages 70 and over) with this surplus Phase 1a vaccine. Also, since doses will go much farther in a county with a smaller population than larger counties everyone is going to have to become comfortable with the fact that some counties are going to get ahead of other counties when progressing through the COVID-19 vaccination phases.
The district health department also points out, the State Department for Public Health arranges for our vaccines to be shipped to us from the drug companies. Likewise, any other area providers who are receiving vaccines (hospitals and maybe a few others), are having their orders also arranged directly by the State Department for Public Health.
The local health departments have no input over which local providers receive the vaccine or how they distribute it. They are all supposed to be following the COVID-19 Vaccination Phase Guidance, but if they don’t, it is outside of the health departments influence.
Officials say they do plan on reaching out to community health care partners soon and to have online meetings with them to better coordinate our overall response. Again, though, how they ultimately chose to utilize their vaccine will be up to them.