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Some eligible people unable to get COVID vaccine from hospitals

In Michigan, people in groups 1A and 1B are technically eligible
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:05 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

A year later, states are still struggling to get the vaccine out fast enough. The process is taking a step back in some cases

In Michigan, people in groups 1A and 1B are technically eligible, which includes health care workers, firefighters, teachers, and those 65 and older.

Sparrow is focusing only on vaccinating those 65 and older and health care workers who still have not yet been vaccinated.

That means even if you are eligible you might not be allowed to get it just yet.

“It’s frustrating to be told ‘I qualify, but I can’t get it,” said Tiffany Glover, a paraprofessional at Holt Public Schools.

Glover’s been trying to get the COVID vaccine since she was told she was eligible more than a month ago.

When she tries signing up with Sparrow, she gets a message saying she can’t schedule an appointment for the vaccine because they are focusing on those 65 and older and health care workers.

“I don’t know if it’s they bit off more than they can chew. I don’t know if they opened it up to the next group,” said Glover.

Glover didn’t think it would take this long to get vaccinated once she became eligible.

She said the vaccine is the only way she’ll be able to return to the classroom.

“My health is at risk without the vaccine. Once they do go back, if I’m not vaccinated, I have to take a leave. I can’t go,” said Glover.

The Ingham County Health Department said it is coordinating the vaccine effort for those who are eligible based on their job.

It prioritized school districts based on when they plan on offering in-person learning.

There are so many different layers, it’s hard for people like Tammy Garner to keep up.

“It’s confusing and frustrating. I guess all I can do at this point is wait,” said Garner, who is also trying to schedule an appointment. “I try to keep my family as safe as I possibly can. It’s very frustrating to have to wait longer.”

Glover said she’s going to talk to her doctor to see if he can help her get the vaccine.

“Other than that, it’s just stalking these websites and making phone calls every day,” she said.

The health department is working with employers and health systems to get more eligible people their shots.

It recommends people ask their employer about how to sign up to get the vaccine.

News 10 checked with other health departments to see if this is how they are also handling their rollout.

Jackson and Eaton counties said they are not restricting who in group 1B can get the vaccine from hospitals.

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