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Thursday, March 4, 2021

State opening appointments for second doses of vaccine; first doses to slow; 1C postponed

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Delaware is opening appointments for second doses of vaccine for those who received a first dose in state-operated events, and the state is delaying the opening of the next phase.

With vaccine supply limited, and so many people in phase 1B not vaccinated at all or waiting for a second shot, the state will not be able to open phase 1C on March 1 as it had planned.

As Delaware tries to provide second doses for those in phase 1a, which is healthcare workers, and those in 1b, which is people older than 65, the amount of vaccine for first vaccinations will dwindle, Gov. John Carney and others said during Tuesday’s weekly COVID-19 press conference.

More than 107,000 people 65 and older signed up with the state for vaccines since Jan. 20, and 32,000 have been vaccinated so far.

The federal government has promised to send more vaccine to Delaware than it promised last week. The new allotment will be shipped directly to Walgreens pharmacies who will be providing vaccines according to state directives. That means they will be limited to provided vaccine only to those who are members of the phase groups the state has OKed.

All of that will delay Phase 1C,  which includes people from 16 to 64 with high-risk underlying conditions, those in congregate settings and other essential workers, such as delivery personnel.

 

There will be multiple events for state-vaccinated people needing a second dose, according to the press release.

The first will be held Feb. 15-19 in Georgetown, Dover and Wilmington and will be open to the 3,800 people who received their first dose at the Dover DMV on Jan. 16, 17 or 18 or Salesianum School on Jan. 18.

Only Moderna vaccines will be given at these events.

The events will be run by Curative and will require individuals to show proof of their first vaccination date when they arrive. Registration will be done directly with Curative.

Anyone who registers but cannot show proof they received their first dose on Jan. 16, 17 or 18 will be turned away.

In addition, the state has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to hold at a vaccination site at Dover International Speedway for multiple days beginning as early as Feb. 20 to give second doses to people who received their first dose at the Dover DMV Jan. 16, 17 or 18; Salesianum School on Jan. 18; at the Delaware City DMV Jan. 22, 23 or 24; or at the Georgetown DMV Jan. 23 or 24.

Both Pfizer and Moderna will be available at these.

At both events, individuals will be required to show proof of their first dose vaccination date.

Those who have lost their vaccination card should email their full name and date of birth to vaccine@delaware.gov. For those without email access, call the Delaware Division of Public Health at 1-833-643-1715. 

Public Health’s Community Health Services Section also will partner with community organizations to deliver second doses to low-income seniors who received their first dose at Salesianum School on Jan. 18 and may have mobility challenges or other barriers preventing them from attending a large event. Those individuals will be reached through community organizations.

Delawareans vaccinated at the Chase Center in Wilmington on Jan. 30 also will be offered an opportunity to register for their second dose. but that registration has not opened. Dr. Karyl Rattay said they can expect an announcement about Feb. 28 on what can be done there.

 

As it becomes available, second dose registration or scheduling information will be listed on de.gov/getmyvaccine and will be emailed to all eligible individuals.

As of Monday, Feb. 8, the State of Delaware and its partners had administered more than 126,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. Of those, 24,000 have been second doses.

Carney said the CDC has recognized Delaware as one of nine states that have made sure at least 10 percent of its population have the first dose. He also said states were told on the weekly White House conference call that there will be move information next week on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose and would be a “game changer” for the state.

“As vaccine supply from the federal government increases, we expect it will become easier to receive first and second doses at pharmacies or from medical providers,” Rattay  said.

She said that the state has asked institutions and private practices who are giving vaccine to provide a delivery plan that includes contingencies for things such as what to do if people don’t show up for their appointment. That might be a waiting list of people who are in the approved phase.

But, she said, if there is extra vaccine and no way to get it into the arm of someone in class 1a or someone 65 or older, the state wants the vaccine to be used. But she didn’t believe there would be many instances of vaccine being left over.

“This vaccine to us right now is worth than gold,” Rattay said. “It’s so incredibly valuable. We don’t want to waste any dose.”

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