Metro Detroit residents seeking COVID vaccine concerned current supply doesn't meet need

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 9:15 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 22:42:48-05

(WXYZ) — Phase 1B in Michigan’s vaccination distribution is now underway. This means people 65 and older, teachers and first responders and other frontline workers can get the vaccine.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine guide: Distribution locations, FAQs and more

However, getting the shot isn’t easy, and trying to set up an appointment is even harder. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer even requested to purchase 100,000 vaccines from the federal government to get more people the vaccine.

The distribution process hasn’t been the easiest. In fact, more people who need and want the vaccine are left waiting and hoping they can book a time to get vaccinated.

“It’s very frustrating because like anybody else, I’m scared," said 75-year-old Ken Michelwicz.

He says he wants to get the vaccine but is afraid he may not get it.

“I have called the nurse on call number, I have called the area of aging and haven’t had any luck,” Michelwicz said.

He's battling several health issues and lost two friends to COVID-19. Michelwicz says because of his health conditions he has a hard time leaving his apartment.

“I need somebody, a nurse practitioner or nurse or doctor or somebody that can come to my apartment and be able to give me the vaccine shot,” he said.

Last week, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel showed the freezers the county has ready for the vaccine but says the amount of doses they’re receiving weekly simply isn’t enough.

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccinations begin for people 65 & up, teachers and other frontline workers

“We can hold and we can store up to 800,000 vaccines right now, and I’m getting 1,000,” Hackel said.

Whitmer is now asking the federal government to make a one-time purchase of 100,000 doses of COVID-19 saying in part, “We remain ready to accelerate distribution to get doses into arms.”

Hackel says the need right now outweighs what's available, and that should have been considered.

“If you knew you didn’t have the number of vaccines available to do this, why would you open it up to so many people giving the impression we can do that when you can’t,” he said.

People have been responding to the lack of vaccines available on the WXYZ Facebook page.

One person writing, “ what good is a list when you can’t get an appointment. We are 78 years old, been stuck inside our home for 10 months.”

Another writing,“Macomb County doesn’t have any vaccines.”

For Michelwicz, he just hopes he’s not forgotten about and can get the vaccine sooner rather than later.

“Even the people I talk to, they feel sympathetic for me but there’s nothing they can do," he said. "It is frustrating because I’ve called and I can’t get nobody to help me."

Michelwicz says he hopes he doesn’t get left behind or lost in the shuffle with the high demand of people wanting to get the vaccine and not enough supply.