You may have recently read that Detroit and Wayne County’s vaccine allocation increased significantly. Washtenaw county vaccine allocation remained flat this week (~3,000 doses), with about half of the doses going to second doses. The state uses a new allocation formula that considers the Social Vulnerability Index. In practice, this brings more vaccines to Detroit, takes some vaccines away from northern counties, and keeps us at about the same level. However, we are being told by the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) that in the next few weeks, we will start to receive more vaccines.

The state has also asked the WCHD to aim to have ¾ of our vaccine in the 1B population going to seniors. With that in mind, they will continue to vaccinate the 1A special educators, and they have begun offering spots to school staff who are 65+. There are 3,400 people on these lists as of this newsletter, and close to 600 people are 65 and older. It is expected that the WCHD will send out invitations to all of the 65+ school staff in the next ten days.

The WCHD is currently operating vaccination clinics every week from Tuesday through Friday at EMU and is ready to scale up and expand to 7 days a week at EMU and add Pierce Lake in Chelsea when they begin receiving more vaccines. These openings are all done through appointments made by the WCHD.

They are still working on scaling up their sign-up systems and have learned that sharing their links does not work well, so for now, vaccination appointment invitations will come directly from health department staff members. Please monitor your district emails for invitations from the WCHD. 

We realize that not everyone will choose to get vaccinated for many reasons. The district does not require vaccinations. Those staff who have been vaccinated have all shared that they have had very little to no side effects thus far. This is encouraging! 

Also, please know that we encourage you to sign up for vaccinations at any other locations you have access to, particularly: your home county if they live outside of Washtenaw county; your doctor’s/pharmacy portals; Meijer and Walgreens; an (for any veterans), the VA.

Meanwhile: Because of the UK variant, which at this point is still concentrated in the U-M student areas, the WCHD is continuing pop-up testing this week, Saturday, February 6, from 12:00-4:00 pm, at Pioneer High School. Although there are many places to get tested, any positive tests at this location will also be genetically sequenced to assess for the variant.

I wish I could provide you with more information, yet we will communicate it with you as we learn more about the process.

Remember, take care of yourself! It is essential during this season of the year! Your family needs you, your students need you, and we need you! Essential

Alena Zachery-Ross — Superintendent

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