County updates COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, timeline after receiving 900 Moderna doses
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the dates of the county’s vaccine drive-thru event.
Summit County officials shared the latest information on the county’s novel coronavirus vaccine rollout and case numbers at the virtual Board of Health meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said the county received 900 doses in its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday. Wineland said the development was great, as it will enable the county to vaccinate the remainder of unvaccinated local health care workers before moving into Phase 1B, where the county will vaccinate out-patient health care providers, first responders and law enforcement members before adding more vaccination slots.
Wineland added that 300 of those doses will go to Centura Health, which will be able to vaccinate its own employees who do outpatient work.
Not everyone who has been permitted to take the vaccine is choosing to do so at this point, said Wineland.
She said the county is continuing to work with its partners to prepare to distribute the vaccine via drive-thru vaccine distribution points. Wineland estimates the county will be able to give 690 vaccine doses at these locations on Saturday, Dec. 26, and Sunday, Dec. 27. She added the county may be able to increase the number of appointments, based on how many vaccines go through on those days. She said the county is also working with the pharmacy at the Frisco Safeway to help provide 50 vaccines for those who can’t make it to the drive-thru locations.
Wineland said the county expects to receive another 100 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine next week, which will likely go to Safeway for distribution. Last week the county began its vaccination process after St. Anthony Summit Medical Center received 180 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“It’s a really complicated process right now logistically, figuring out how to distribute the vaccine,” Wineland said. “But we are fully staffed for the drive-thru (distribution points), which is good news. And we have practice doing it, so we feel good.”
Wineland said all local health care providers have participated in provider meetings over the last two months in order to be ready to receive the vaccine. She added the county is inviting health care employees to reach out and call the health department if they have not received an email from the county by Wednesday, Dec. 23.
So far, the county hasn’t been informed of any serious side effects, such as fever or malaise, from the vaccine — just soreness in the arm in the area the shot was administered. Wineland said the county is reflecting the current statewide trend of decreasing cases and hospitalizations, with the county dropping under 800 cases per 100,000 people in recent days.
She added testing continues to go well, with the county seeing an uptick in tests taken. On Monday, Dec. 21, 385 tests were administered in Silverthorne.
Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence asked Wineland if the county can determine the breakdown between locals and visitors at the testing sites. Wineland said with multiple agencies undertaking testing, it is not easy to obtain that information, though the county is strategizing on how to extrapolate that data. She further explained that county residents getting tests outside the county and local testing sites serving as a testing hub for the region also complicate that pursuit.
In response to Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson’s inquiry about flu vaccinations and cases, Wineland said the county has no reported flu hospitalizations and said flu vaccinations are up 44% year over year in the county, compared to a 20% increase statewide.
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