The Delaware Division of Public Health announced it vaccinated 11,154 individuals at events held Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Delaware City and Georgetown. Those vaccinated included Phase 1B seniors ages 65 and older and Phase 1A health care personnel.
The total in Delaware City included 500 vaccinations Friday, 3,318 Saturday and 2,396 Sunday. In Georgetown there were 2,690 vaccines administered Saturday and 2,250 Sunday. Appointments were provided to Phase 1B Delawareans 65 and older who had requested vaccination though the state’s new system.
The DPH had originally reported 13,500 vaccinations were scheduled for the weekend clinics on Friday.
The state has vaccinated more than 21,000 people over the past 8 days. As of 11:59, Saturday administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been reported to the state’s immunization information system DelVAX. Those figures do not include the vaccine doses administered on Sunday.
After numerous delays and confusion early in the weekend, the DPH and its partners adjusted the drive-thru vaccination process. The DPH said these delays were caused by people arriving without an appointment, those with appointments not completing their pre-vaccination screening online before arriving and technology issues resulting from the cold temperatures.
Several process and traffic improvements implemented on Sunday included:
- A separate area in Delaware City and separate lane in Georgetown for Phase 1A health care workers, who had not been registered through the online system and thus took longer to process.
- Additional laptops and IT personnel at the Delaware City site, along with generators to keep laptops and wi-fi systems charged. Georgetown switched to a paper-based system for Sunday, and manual data entry will be used to enter the information into the state’s immunization system.
- So as not to start the day with a backlog, Georgetown began vaccinations at 8:30 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. to accommodate individuals who arrived hours before their appointment time
- State troopers were added in both locations to assist with traffic flow.
- An email was sent early Sunday morning to individuals with Sunday appointments with instructions for completing the pre-registration forms. Staff and volunteers reported higher pre-registration completion rate Sunday, which sped up the process on site, requiring fewer lanes in Delaware City devoted to those with incomplete screening.
By 1 p.m., wait times were reported at approximately one hour in Delaware City and as low as 15 minutes in Georgetown, with traffic largely cleared from surrounding roads and highways at both locations, the DPH said. All vaccinations were completed Sunday by 4:45 p.m.
“The issues Saturday were not what we planned, not what we wanted to see, and certainly not what we wanted our residents to experience,” said DPH Director Dr. Karly Rattay in a statement. “Our hardworking volunteers and staff stayed more than 3 hours later than scheduled Saturday to vaccinate all those with appointments, and then the DPH team and our partners worked into the night to identify the issues and take steps to improve things for Sunday. Sunday went much more smoothly and was more the event we intended to have. It was a learning experience and, most importantly, we extended the first dose of vaccine protection to more than 11,000 Delawareans.”
Dr. Rattay said vaccination opportunities will expand beyond large vaccination events at DMV locations to smaller events focused on communities around the state. The state is also expanding the number of pharmacy and primary care providers who are able to offer vaccinations.