Health department prepares for next phase of vaccine distribution

GENESEE COUNTY — As it works to get COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline medical teams, the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) has announced that it will soon be rolling out the next phase of vaccines for essential workers and vulnerable individuals.

Currently, the GCHD is vaccinating people in the 1A phase of distribution, which are individuals working in healthcare facilities, as well as residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.

Preparations have been made to begin Phase 1B vaccinations as soon as the vaccine becomes available. This group includes persons who are 65 years of age and older and essential workers in critical infrastructure, such as: teachers, childcare workers, food and agricultural workers, critical manufacturing workers and workers in congregate settings.

However, health officials have also said that there is no definitive timeline on when the next shipment of vaccinations will be received by the state or distributed to local public health departments. Supplies will also be limited for at least the next several months because there are currently not enough vaccines for everyone in Phase 1B to be vaccinated at the same time.

County residents who fall into a Phase 1B category are asked to visit gchd.us/covid19vaccine/ to access the registration form and for additional information and updates regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Health officials said that filling out the registration form prior to making an appointment at the vaccination sites will keep lines moving as quickly as possible. — B.G.