By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Eighty percent of the city’s new COVID-19 cases are from the east side 48120 and 48126 ZIP codes, Chief of Staff Mark Guido said during the April 20 Mayor’s Briefing.
He said the age of those contracting the coronavirus is trending younger, as well.
“We are trying to reach out to our interfaith group, making a special effort with mosques to send appropriate messages during Ramadan,” he said. “The (Department of Public Information) is also working with other partners to try to get the message out to that demographic as well.”
Guido said the Dearborn vaccination clinic in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center has dispensed more than 45,000 doses.
“The additional medical support that we made provisions for a couple weeks ago has increased our capacity like we wanted it to, and we have done more than 2,000 dose per day,” he said. “We are averaging closer to 1,400 to 1,500, but we do have additional capacity.”
Guido said staffing the non-medical positions is currently a challenge, and city departments are being assigned to assist with the effort.
“We have about 200 4-hour slots during the week that need to be filled, and we are doing that hopefully during the daytime with departments rescheduling folks, reassigning them to the vaccination clinic, to fill the majority of the daytime slots,” he said. “We are working on a community-based volunteer team for the nighttime support.”
Guido said the vaccination clinic has been open 12 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, and the Vaccine Administration Management System reporting work is done on Friday.
“We are taking as many steps as we can to make sure that we have all the support necessary,” he said. “It’s a fairly big undertaking, it’s a very big operation, and it is going well. The longer this goes on, the more difficult I think it is going to be to continue to staff it.”
Guido said the city is doing what it can to maintain the level staffing.
He said Fire Chief Joseph Murray spends a lot of his time on the phone with both state and county officials trying to maintain an adequate vaccine supply.
“It’s frustrating, because everybody had asked us to provide this regional vaccination center,” Guido said. “We thought at that point we could be guaranteed a more stable supply of vaccines, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, so the chief is doing a great job securing the vaccine that we need.”
He said the vaccine clinic has kept 4,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until the review is completed.
“The next step that we may take is introduce Pfizer, so that we can increase our inventory,” Guido said. “And while that seems relatively easy, the issue is that the redosing schedule is different, so it does pose some logistical issues.”
He said the Pfizer vaccine has a three-week return date, while the Moderna vaccine has a four-week return date, but the team is addressing this challenge.
Guido said the city does have the sub-zero freezers to store the Pfizer vaccine at minus-70 degrees Celsius. The Moderna vaccine needs to be stored at minus-20 degrees Celsius.