Livingston County officials demand answers over COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Special meeting held in Livingston County Thursday afternoon

Livingston County officials demand answers from Lansing on shortage of COVID vaccine doses
Livingston County officials demand answers from Lansing on shortage of COVID vaccine doses

HOWELL, Mich. – Leaders in Livingston County want answers from state officials.

They want to know why the state has only sent them 13,000 shots while Oakland County has received 238,000 doses.

Livingston County commissioner Mitchell Zajac said the state needs to scrap the way it distributes vaccines because it’s failing Michigan’s seniors.

Zajac said the way the state distributes the vaccines doesn’t add up. The state uses the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). It’s a formula that includes socioeconomic status, disability, minority status, language spoken, type of housing, transportation and areas hit hardest by COVID.

READ: Michigan’s race to get everyone vaccinated leaves some senior citizens behind

Detroit aims to vaccinate 15,000 people per week, but the state hasn’t sent Livingston County that many doses total since December.

Close to 18% of the 190,000 people in Livingston County are over the age of 65. An estimated 900 vaccines were due to arrive this week for the entire county. The vaccines didn’t arrive.

READ: How Livingston County residents can schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointment

Livingston County has the highest median income in the state, but the majority of people dying from the virus are seniors.

Zajac said the SVI is failing the people it is meant to help.

“There is a smarter and smoother way to roll this out,” Zajac said.

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.