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UPDATE: Marquette County Health Department fills 845 COVID-19 vaccine appointments in less than 2 hours

The majority of 517 appointments available for assignment through the web portal were taken within 30 seconds of going live.
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:42 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:58 PM EST
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NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE at 5:17 p.m. Wednesday: The Marquette County Health Department says all available appointments for vaccinations have been filled.

In an email to TV6 Wednesday, MCHD Health Officer, Jerry Messana, said 845 total appointments were available.

“The majority of 517 appointments available for assignment through the web portal were taken within 30 seconds of going live,” Messana said. “The remaining 328 appointments were completed via the MCHD phone system. So, a total of 845 appointments were made in less than 2 hours.”

The health department will announce additional appointment availability for citizens aged 65 years and older on Friday, January 15.

Messana said there were some technical difficulties getting the site live Wednesday morning, which caused a delay in making the link live for use. He hopes they can secure more vaccines at the end of this week.

“We have to place our orders for vaccines with the State by Noon on Thursdays,” he told TV6, “We have typically been notified the next day on Friday whether or not will be filling our order. If we get confirmation that our order is confirmed and will be filled we will open up the schedule for the following week, make a public announcement and schedule appointments only for what we have been allocated.”

Messana reminds Marquette County residents to be patient.

“Vaccine availability is strictly determined by the allocation of vaccine we actually receive in hand and by the distribution policies of MDHHS,” he said.

All appointments have been filled at this time. MCHD will release an update on our COVID vaccination plan in the near future.

Posted by Marquette County Health Department Emergency Preparedness on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Marquette resident David Perlove was unable to schedule an appointment this morning. He expressed his frustration, saying, “There was no link. I thought, ‘Okay, they’re probably a little bit late,’ so I got off the computer and dialed the phone number. There was just a busy signal.”

Perlove says before the update from MCDH, he was left wondering what would happen next.

“Where do we go from here?” asked Perlove. “What should we do, should we wait? Is there a waiting list we can get on? What? But we’re just left dangling with a busy signal and a link that says there are no appointments available.”

Wednesday afternoon, Michigan’s Chief Operating Officer Tricia Foster said the delays in vaccine shipments are occurring statewide.

“It takes anywhere between 18 and 28 minutes per person to administer a vaccine,” Foster said. “We took a different route. We wanted to do it orderly; we wanted to have people sign up for shots. Because of that, it’s not instantaneous.”

UPDATE at 12:55 p.m. Wednesday:

The Marquette County Health Department says it is working to add more coronavirus vaccine appointments for adults 65 and older to its website. Check back for added appointments.

MCHD says there are still appointments to be made over the phone line, 906-475-7847. At this time, MCHD encourages you to use the phone line.

This story will be updated as MCHD releases more information.

*Another update* Some appointment slots were moved over to web scheduling. You may try the link again...they are going...

Posted by Marquette County Health Department Emergency Preparedness on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

UPDATE at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday:

The Marquette County Health Department says its phone lines and the website are overwhelmed.

Coronavirus vaccine appointments were set to open at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. TV6 has received dozens of calls from frustrated and confused adults 65 and older trying to get appointments online. The callers said the sign-up link appeared about 15 minutes late and appointments were immediately gone. Calls to the health department’s provided phone number were unsuccessful. Some viewers report that they successfully scheduled appointments online and by phone.

“Please have patience with us as we get this issue resolved,” the Marquette County Health Department wrote on Facebook.

It’s unclear if there are more appointments available for Thursday and Friday’s clinics.

This story will be updated as more information is released about the issues and future coronavirus vaccine clinics in Marquette County.

ORIGINAL INFORMATION RELEASED TUESDAY:

The MCHD said that the first vaccination clinic for community members who are 65 years of age and older will be on Thursday, Jan. 14 and Friday, Jan. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Baraga Gym located at 300 W. Spring Street in Marquette. Appointments must be made in advance. No walk-ins will receive a vaccine. A limited number of appointments will be available. Appointments can be made by going to mqthealth.org. Community members will be able to make appointments using this link beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Anyone who needs help making an appointment can call the MCHD at 906-475-7847. A picture ID will be required at the time of the appointment. To maintain social distancing, the MCHD is asking community members to arrive no earlier than five minutes before the scheduled appointment time.

The MCHD also reminded residents to to continue using all safety precautions, including social distancing, wearing face masks in public, and limiting social gatherings.

More information about future clinics will be released once it becomes available.

Learn more on the department’s website or Facebook page. You can also learn more at maskupmqt.org.

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