Health department prepares for the next round of vaccines

Almost as soon as they were announced, the next phase of coronavirus vaccine clinics in St. Clair County have filled up. Earlier this week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that counties could begin vaccinating those in phases 1B and 1C, which include Michiganders over the age of 65, first responders, and teachers. On Thursday afternoon, the St. Clair County Health Department offered up it’s first appointments for those in those age groups. Two hours later, all appointments for the vaccine have been booked. The health department says people in the next phase of vaccines should monitor the health department’s website for when more clinics are available. “We estimate approximately 50,000-60,000 residents will be eligible for vaccination following the State’s updated guidance,” said Dr. Annette Mercatante, the county’s medical health officer. “We have to prioritize groups due to limited vaccine availability.” As vaccine supply increases, the health department expects to expand the number of vaccine appointments.