Beaumont doubles distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations to 3,200 a day

Medical professionals are readying for a possible post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases.  At the same time, they are projecting how the coronavirus vaccines will help mitigate the virus.

"We are nervous about what the holidays may have done," said Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont Health. "We haven't heard anything new from the state, we are still in phase 1A (vaccinating) which is healthcare workers and residents of extended care facilities." 

On Monday Beaumont announced it will increase its capacity to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations from 1,600 to 3,200.

"That's a lot, a lot of people," he said. 

Sims, the director of infectious disease research, received his first dose of vaccine and is set to get the second dose this week.

As medical workers get vaccinated there's been national criticism that the vaccine rollout could be faster, but Sims believes the real issue is that some medical workers are not signing up to get vaccinated. 

"It's a difficult message but there's a lot of fear," he said. "While you want to vaccinate medical workers first, there's a point where if frontline workers are not coming to get it, it's time to move on."

Sims says the vaccine is safe and effective for use, but it's time to get past the fear. 

"The vaccine is key to getting back to normal," he said. "It takes 70 percent of the population to get the vaccine. The more people who get vaccinated the better we will be, getting this under control.

"Covid is not going away."