Both the Ruby Valley Medical Center and the Madison Valley Medical Center received 100 doses of the coronavirus vaccination the week of Feb. 1. It was a lucky week! Photo courtesy of Emilie Sayler, RVMC

Supply of vaccines dictates speed of working through waitlist

Madison County COVID & Vaccination Update

From Jan. 24-31, Madison County reported 12 new coronavirus cases. Three residents are currently hospitalized and one more death has been recorded, bringing the cumulative total to seven. Thirty residents are in quarantine.

This week, both the Ruby Valley Medical Center (RVMC) and the Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) are slotted to receive 100 COVID-19 vaccinations each for Phase 1B. As a whole, the county receives between 100-200 vaccinations weekly.

“Everything’s based off a percentage. Everyone is getting the same percentage of vaccine for their population,” Madison County Public Health Nurse Melissa Brummell said.

RVMC received 100 vaccinations for Phase 1A individuals at the end of December, according to Emilie Sayler, public information officer for RMVC’s COVID-19 Incident Command Team. A second round of 100 vaccinations received a couple of weeks ago will allow the facility to completely vaccinate 1A with the two required injections likely by week’s end.

The 100 anticipated doses this week will allow RVMC to start vaccinating 1B residents. Individuals on the facility’s waitlist will be contacted by hospital employees to schedule a vaccination appointment.

“We’re just running that (waitlist) and I expect to move through the list quickly once the supplies start coming in,” Sayler said.

That is the baseline of what is important to understand about receiving the coronavirus vaccine. The number of individuals able to get a vaccine are dictated by the supply a facility receives, which is informed by population and state supply. Furthermore, a facility can only check people off the waitlist as vaccines are available.

“Until we have a larger supply, we’re doing everything we can to work off our waiting list and vaccinate people as soon as we get our supply,” Allen Rohrback, CEO of MVMC, explained.

As of Tuesday, MVMC had 100 vaccinations scheduled for this week. Thirty patients have been fully immunized, all in the 1A category, and Rohrback expected that number to increase to 100 by the end of the week.

MVMC is currently vaccinating 1B individuals, using the waitlists as guides. Clinics are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the hospital.

Individuals who receive their first vaccine from MVMC are provided a card with a date indicating when the next dose is to be received.

Brummell said hospitals cannot start scheduling or making waitlist calls until the vaccine is actually in the facility, reiterating the bottom line. Similarly, data added to the statewide vaccination map does not happen immediately. Both vaccination calls and data entry are slowed by lag time due to the speed at which supply, or data, is received.

Brummell anticipated seeing numbers change on the map for the quantity of 1A individuals in Madison County that have been fully vaccinated. “Once that gets entered, that’s going to be cool,” she said.

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