ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Due to lower-than-expected COVID-19 vaccine supply, the University of Michigan has paused vaccinations of people in the state’s 1B phase.
U of M Medicine announced it will temporarily pause the scheduling of vaccinations for people in that phase and first make sure there are enough doses for people in the first phase who need their second dose.
“We are committed to administering COVID-19 vaccines to our communities as quickly and safely as possible,” the announcement reads. “We currently have established capacity to administer up to 12,000 vaccines per week, and will resume scheduling new first-dose appointments as soon as sufficient supply is available.”
Phase 1B of vaccinations began Monday (Jan. 11) in Michigan, with people 65 and older, police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers, jail and prison staff members, Pre-K through 12th grade teachers and childcare providers now eligible to receive the vaccine.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, announced the move to phase 1B on Wednesday.
The state acknowledged, however, that not everyone from the first phase had received the vaccine. While Whitmer said not everyone from Phase 1A had to be vaccinated before people from 1B started receiving their first doses, many of the sites administering the vaccine announced they wouldn’t immediately be moving on to phase 1B on Monday.
Michigan’s handling of the COVID vaccine distribution process hasn’t come without speed bumps. People are confused about the availability of the vaccine and how they go about getting an appointment. There are questions about unused doses of vaccine.
“I know that when you look at the website about how many vaccines have been received versus how many have been administered, you would recognize that this is a process that has to take a little bit of time,” Whitmer said Friday. “I know everyone wants to see you’ve got 500 shots, you get 500 shots given.”
She said the state is transporting and breaking down the deliveries, as well as working with health departments and hospital systems. On Friday, Khaldun said more than 24,000 shots had been administered in the previous 24 hours.
“We’re making great strides,” Whitmer said. “If you look at what’s happening across the country, you know, we have to have perspective here. Michigan is in the same situation as every other state. We’re all building this up and we’re all at about the same level.”