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U.P. health departments: More vaccines to give than people who want it

Multiple health departments have hundreds of appointments available, but not enough people who want them.
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County Health Department now has more vaccines to give than people who want them.

The department is holding two vaccination clinics this week. The first on Tuesday is full. 1,200 people will receive their first dose. Wednesday’s clinic still has 500 open appointments and the department is having a hard time trying to fill them.

“Now we have for the very first time, more vaccine than people who are willing to accept the vaccine,” said Dr. Bob Lorinser, Marquette County Medical Director. “This week is the telltale week. If our community doesn’t buy it then we may say to the state, ‘Please don’t send us anymore vaccine or don’t send us as much.’”

Marquette County is not alone in the U.P. Local health departments say Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are still seeing steady or strong demand. Meanwhile, ten other U.P. counties (Marquette, Gogebic, Baraga, Ontonagon, Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Delta, Menominee and Schoolcraft) are seeing less demand. Many of them also have open appointments this week and can’t fill them.

“Our lists are very short, non-existent in some cases,” said Kerry Ott, LMAS Public Information Officer.,

This comes as cases in Upper Michigan continue to increase. Right now, 28.7% percent of the U.P’s eligible population is fully vaccinated.

“Will everybody receive the vaccine? I doubt it,” said Lorinser. “Will we get to 70%? I hope so. Will we get to 90%? I really doubt it.”

Lorinser says younger people seem more hesitant to get the vaccine.

“I call those vaccine hesitators. The anti-vaxxers are a totally different story,” said Lorinser. “The vaccine hesitators -- everybody has their own reasons for doing that and that’s what I think we are coming up to now.”

Ott says misinformation is behind the reluctance.

“This isn’t a conspiracy. Nobody is trying to control you. There’s no chip in it. None of that,” said Ott. “This is just a vaccine like all the other vaccines.”

If you want a vaccine, visit our county-by-county vaccination opportunity list by clicking here.

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