Thursday, February 25, 2021

State responds to vaccine appointment difficulty

The family of an 81-year-old woman from Westland is hoping she will receive her first dose of the COVID vaccine this week. 

Dorothy Bigalow's family members were concerned about the difficulty in scheduling a vaccination for her. Her daughter, Sue Woody, said she and her three sisters have worked practically non-stop to try and schedule an appointment for the vaccine for their mother through Wayne County. 

They were finally successful in securing an appointment this week as Wayne County offered vaccination clinics in Canton/Plymouth, Inkster and Romulus for seniors. While appointments went quickly, and phone lines were overloaded with those seeking appointments, Bigalow was expected to receive her first innoculation.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, shared a message Wednesday for people like Bigalow who want to be vaccinated, but haven't been able to schedule an appointment yet.

“We know there are many other people who want to get a vaccine, and there simply are not enough vaccines available for everyone who wants one right now,” Khaldun said. “For everyone who hasn't yet received a vaccine, either because an appointment hasn't been available or you are not yet eligible, we and our local health departments, our hospitals and our other partners, thank you for your patience.”

Bigalow's members said they are terrified she might contract the virus which would be life-threatening for her considering her age and physical condition.

“We will all keep working around the clock until everyone who wants a vaccine is able to get one. So until then, to protect others who are not yet vaccinated, and even after you receive yours, wear your mask, socially distance and wash your hands,” Khaldun advised.

“There is hope ahead, but it's critical that we all remain vigilant as we work together to end this pandemic.”

As of Feb. 17, the state of Michigan has administered 1,657,215 vaccines, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Up to date information regarding vaccine eligibility, safety and clinic locations is available at

Residents who don't have access to the internet or who struggle to use a computer can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, which is available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.