Key council oversight committee increasing workload as City of Cleveland runs out of phase 1B vaccines

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:59 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One day after 19 News learned the City of Cleveland ran out of its weekly allotment of COVID-19 vaccines, the chairman of a key city council oversight committee announced the group will be meeting more frequently.

“It’s our responsibility to provide oversight and information on exactly how that rollout is happening here locally,” said Ward 3 councilman Kerry McCormack, who serves as the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.

He announced on Thursday that beginning January 25th, the committee will now meet virtually every Monday at 9:30 a.m., as opposed to bi-weekly.

McCormack said it will “ensure that we’re doing what we need to be doing as a city to get shots in arms and to get info out to the general public.”

The committee has also provided an online portal for residents to submit questions for the group.

“The amount of vaccine coming into our community does not meet the demand, however what we will not tolerate is a lack of communication out to our neighborhoods,” he said.

On Wednesday, 19 News discovered — by calling the city’s new vaccine hotline — that the Cleveland Department of Public Health did not have any phase 1B vaccine doses available.

The phase began just one day earlier.

A city spokesperson has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health told 19 News that the Cleveland health department received 1,375 total doses on Tuesday.

“Quite frankly, I’m happy the vaccines are getting into arms,” McCormack said. “If we’re getting into a process at the city where that’s happening faster and we’re going through our stockpile, then that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. I’m not concerned about that necessarily because if they have run out, hopefully that means they’ve gotten them getting into arms.”

This week, the first of phase 1B was aimed at inoculating people 80-years-old and above.

Another shipment of vaccines will arrive next week; it’s unclear how many doses will be given to each individual agency throughout the state.

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