Headline Roundup: COVID-19 Vaccine Challenges

Ruthanne Sudderth

Politico, Bridge and the Associated Press (AP) published stories the week of Jan. 18 that featured the MHA responding to different aspects associated with the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Jan. 20 Politico story reviewed the supply challenges that are hindering states’ ability to administer a high amount of vaccinations and how a lack of definitive shipment arrival dates has led to the cancelation of scheduled vaccine clinics and appointments.

“In Michigan, hospitals have had to cancel ‘many’ appointments in the past five weeks due to shortages of vaccine supply, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.”

On Jan. 20 Bridge discussed vaccine hesitancy in Michigan amid the state’s lead epidemiologist estimating that at least 90% of Michiganders 16 and older may need to be vaccinated against COVID to achieve herd immunity due to new variants of the virus that are more transmittable.

MHA SVP Ruthanne SudderthRuthanne Sudderth, senior vice president, public affairs & communications, is quoted in the article on the possibility of health systems mandating the vaccine for staff.

“The fact that the new COVID vaccines were authorized under emergency use rather than a full approval makes it ‘unlikely that organizations will feel legally comfortable mandating the vaccine,’ said Sudderth. ‘Another hurdle is that we still don’t have enough supply to allow for mandates to be implemented successfully.’”

The AP on Jan. 24 focused on the lack of supply and uncertainty over the amount vaccine Michigan will receive each week to explain why vaccines are not being administered at a faster rate statewide. 

“The biggest issue right now is getting more vaccine into our state,” said Sudderth.

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.