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'We have hundreds of appointments' health systems say vaccine supply outpaces demand for first time

Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 17:50:29-04

CARSON CITY, Mich — All adults 16 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide, but health groups are seeing a puzzling trend.

They say for the first time, vaccine supply is outpacing demand.

Sparrow Heath System said Sparrow-Carson hospital has even canceled two or three upcoming vaccine clinics because not enough people are signing up.

“There’s plenty of supply, just not enough people are getting it,” said John Foren, Spokesperson for Sparrow Health System.

Foren said the problem isn’t unique to rural areas, but is also impacting much larger cities.

“You’re not getting it in all the arms that we could and it’s not a supply issue, it’s simply an arm issue, getting the arms to us,” Foren said.

Sparrow-Carson Hospital in Carson City is now in the process of cancelling up to three scheduled vaccine clinics.

Foren explained that they were hosting a vaccine clinic when he spoke to FOX 17 on Thursday where they had 300 doses available. However, as of noon that day, clinicians reported only giving out 54 doses.

In fact, Foren said the system recently had to reallocate vaccine doses to other areas because they didn’t get used up.

He said, “It’s a real about face. Now, we are telling everyone we can we have the supplies, the supply chain has really opened up for hospitals across the nation and please come in. We’ve got hundreds of openings.”

Foren added that vaccine hesitancy is a big factor in the shift.

“We also know that we have to convince the others who are sitting on the fence, who are taking the wait-and-see attitude. We have to convince them it is in your best interest and society’s best interest for you to get this vaccine now,” he said.

Sparrow Health said that they’re working on doing more mobile clinics and education to target the middle to younger age groups.

“Why not protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community? And that’s what it’s really about. Don’t just think about protecting yourself, but protecting those around you,” Foren said.

Even though Sparrow Health is canceling clinics at Carson Hospital, they are on track to administer their 100,000th dose at their clinic in Lansing on Friday.

Many of the clinics don’t require preregistration.

You can find a Sparrow Health vaccination location near you by visiting their website.