A late night phone call from state health officials on Thursday salvaged what would have been hundreds of cancelled COVID-19 vaccination appointments for Friday and Saturday.
“It’s a good update,” Miami County Health Officer Dr. Christi Redmon told the Tribune on Friday morning. “But we didn’t anticipate it.”
Redmon was hard at work early trying to undo a Thursday night media blitz in which she said the county health department was going to have to cancel vaccination appointments for at least two days because winter weather that slammed much of the country earlier in the week appeared to have hampered distribution efforts.
Monday’s regular shipment of vaccine doses had not arrived, she explained earlier on Thursday, and as of Thursday night, it still hadn’t and all indications were that doses would not arrive in order to fill the coming days’s appointments.
“This is a disaster, but it’s a distribution problem, nationwide,” Redmon said Thursday night as she worked to let county residents know that their Friday and Saturday appointments would be cancelled and provide information about how they would be rescheduled.
But a phone call that came in from the state after 10 p.m. on Thursday carried good news.
Officials were “transferring” enough doses to keep Friday appointments going and for the health department to still conduct its Saturday vaccination clinic where more than 200 people are expected to receive either their first or second dose of the vaccine, Redmon said Friday morning.
The news meant that, with the few dozen reserve doses on hand, the health department could open its Friday vaccination site at the old firehouse building at the corner of Main and Miami streets.
By 10 a.m., patients were being vaccinated and Redmon, who was on site lending a hand, said she expected the new doses would arrive before the site reopened after its lunch break.
Those doses, she said, were coming in from other counties who had enough doses to lend to Miami County so the Saturday clinic could still happen.
“This is not, ‘The shipment has arrived,’” Redmon said.
That Monday delivery is still pending, but Redmon credited state workers with quick thinking to get doses into the county on Friday.
“They were up late trying to get this accomplished,” she said.