While the SVI formula reduces vaccine allocations to more affluent counties in the state, their overall shipments still are increasing as more vaccine becomes available from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Last week, Washtenaw County received a 40 percent increase in doses, 7,000, including 2,000 of the new single-dose J&J vaccine, compared with the 5,000 doses the county health department received the week of Feb. 22. Two weeks ago, the county got a shipment of 3,000 doses, giving it a 133 percent increase the past two weeks.
"We're tremendously relieved to have more vaccine available, and we continue giving vaccinations as quickly as possible," said Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, Washtenaw's communications and health promotion administrator.
"Its an incredible relief to start moving though our lists faster and to be able to offer vaccination in more locations, including more accessible community sites," Ringler-Cerniglia said in an email to Crain's. "We'll continue to prioritize those older adults who have been waiting for appointments as we start adding newly eligible individuals to the list next week."
Washtenaw County plans to expand hours at its mass vaccination clinic at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, from 5,000 to 9,950, where it has partnered with St. Joseph Mercy Health System, a division of Trinity Health Michigan.
It also has been collaborating with Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine and the medical group IHA to vaccinate about 1,200 educators and school employees. This week, the county will add another unspecified mass vaccination site, she said.
"We are adding multiple pop-up vaccination sites throughout the week with more than 1,000 doses," she said.
Meanwhile, eight-hospital Trinity Health Michigan, which has been working with local health departments and physicians to expand vaccination opportunities, received more doses of vaccines last week than in previous weeks, but not a large amount, an official said.
"When we do (receive more doses) it will allow us to ramp up appointments to all eligible groups," said Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, chief clinical officer with Livonia-based Trinity Health Michigan.
Tocco-Bradley said Trinity Health has been transferring vaccine doses to local health departments in its market and physician groups, where "eligible community residents and patients can more readily access it."
Over the past several weeks, Tocco-Bradley said Trinity also has worked with local school districts to make appointments to vaccinate their staff.
"We are also now reserving doses each week for eligible patients who reside in vulnerable ZIP codes in our communities," Tocco-Bradley said. "Hospital team members are conducting phone outreach to schedule appointments for these community members, many of whom who may not have access to the Internet and live in ZIP codes disproportionately affected by COVID-19."
At Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, the state shipped a total of 17,900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The number included 700 of the J&J vaccine, 10,760 first doses of Pfizer and 6,440 second doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
Under state directions, Henry Ford plans to use the 700 doses of J&J single-dose vaccine on patients 65 and older who are being discharged from the hospital or emergency department.
"Once we know the quantity of vaccine we expect to receive next week, we will begin contacting those who would meet the state's expanded eligibility criteria that are set to begin March 8," said a statement Thursday by Henry Ford.
Beaumont Health spokesman Mark Geary said the eight-hospital Southfield-based health system received more doses than usual the past week. First and second doses from Pfizer and Moderna last week totaled 17,190, up 106 percent from 8,320 doses last week, including 3,510 donated by Oakland County.
"We are thrilled more vaccine will be flowing into Michigan," Geary said. "We have the capacity to provide 50,000 doses each week. We have said from the beginning that our goal is to vaccinate as many Michiganders as possible. Our ability to achieve that goal is dependent upon the amount of vaccine we receive. We will continue to work closely with the state and local health departments to vaccinate as many people as we can."
MDHHS notified Wayne County it should expect a shipment of 7,000 J&J doses Friday, Hammami said.
This week, he said Wayne County will start using the J&J vaccine on people over age 65 or those in areas with low vaccination rates.
"It has been encouraging the past two weeks that we received a considerable increase. Is it enough? I don't think anything will be enough until we hit our demand" levels, Hammami said.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has shunned the J&J vaccine, saying he considers Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines "the best" because they were found to be 95 percent effective in preventing severe illness. He later walked back those comments, saying Friday that "We are not declining the Johnson & Johnson vaccines."
Experts have warned against comparing the clinical trials and outcomes of the three vaccines since they were tested at different times during the pandemic involving different variants of the coronavirus.