Public Health officials ask for patience as demand for vaccine far exceeds supply

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Public health officials are urging patience as vaccinations put only a  tiny dent in a long waiting list.

This week, the  Delaware Division of  Public  Health has sent out an email message for the  90,000 who did not get a vaccine invite.

“Close to 100,000 people have made a vaccination request. About 10,000 people from the list were vaccinated in drive-through clinics Saturday and Sunday operated by the Division of Public Health. The health company Curative, which has been part of the state’s Covid-19 testing, will begin vaccinations in Dover this week, with 750 individuals drawn from the waiting list as well. Another 2,000 from the waiting list will be vaccinated this coming weekend,” the Email stated.

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According to DPH,  the state has been receiving only 15,000 to 20,000 vaccine doses a week. This week, the state received about 24,000 doses, according to its Vaccine Tracker. The tracker showed about 33,000 remaining amounts.

It would take more than a year to vaccinate the state’s adult population at the present rate of vaccine deliveries. The Biden Administration has vowed to step up deliveries and improve communications with state officials who have long complained about deliveries falling short of estimates.

Doses have gone mainly to the  Phase 1A group of health care workers and emergency responders who are now awaiting the second round of vaccine. 

Phase 1B includes those over 65 and workers in essential services like food production or transportation, which is about 200,000 people. This adds up to  270,000 people or a total of 540,000 doses, the email noted.

“The waiting list has only been taking those 65 and older so far. The first invitations for the vaccinations went to those within the 65+ group most at risk for getting COVID or from having serious complications: those who are the oldest and those with chronic medical conditions, especially multiple conditions,” the email stated. “ You haven’t received an invitation to be vaccinated yet because the limited appointments have been offered to others, starting with those most at risk.”

The selection process explains some of the complaints arising from the Saturday drive-up event, over traffic back-ups, balky, and delays that were tougher on more medically fragile elderly. The issues were largely resolved on Sunday.

Those not getting an invitation have the option of checking out medical providers, pharmacies, employers, a vaccine clinic in their neighborhood, or workers going into housing communities or door-to-door.

Registering with those organizations is acceptable, even if the individual is still on the state list. 

New vaccination partners Curative and Vault will offer vaccination events around the state. DPH will continue to operate large vaccination events that can handle a few thousand people in a day. Only through all these efforts will we reach everyone we need to reach, DPH wrote.

DPH will also provide names from the waiting list to other organizations that will reach out if a vaccine is available.

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