State Denies Marion’s Latest Request for Vaccine

            The Town of Marion was unable to acquire another 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for its residents this week after the commonwealth denied the town’s request for more doses to continue its effort to vaccinate those over age 75.

            Public Health Nurse Lori Desmarais told the Marion Board of Health on February 16 that the town had applied for another week’s supply of vaccine but did not receive approval, meaning no vaccine clinics were scheduled for the week.

            Last week, 380 doses were given during the town’s two largest vaccine clinics so far on February 10-11. First responders received their second doses while first doses were given to those aged 81 and up, as the town prioritized its oldest residents in descending order.

            Desmarais said the town applied again this week for more doses to administer next week, but confirmation via email usually does not reach Desmarais until Friday or Saturday.

            BOH Chairman Dr. Edward Hoffer commented that resources are constrained and, unfortunately, the state is the one in control of who gets vaccine supplies. He added that he had received an email from Town Administrator Jay McGrail earlier in the day describing how he had been trying to get Marion’s state representative to “use whatever influence he has to increase our allocation,” according to Hoffer. “It sounds like that is a minimum benefit to minimum avail,” Hoffer said.

            In other COVID-19 news, Desmarais said Marion currently has 24 active COVID-19 cases, adding to the town’s total 358 cases since the start of the pandemic.

            “It does appear that the cases are going down,” Desmarais said. “We do have 28 so far for the month of February.”

            Sippican School had five in quarantine just prior to this week. Students and staff are now on winter break until returning to school on Monday, February 22. Tabor Academy COVID-19 routine testing has yielded only negative results so far, and Desmarais said COVID-19 testing would continue throughout the remainder of the school year at Tabor Academy.

            In other matters, the board approved the Marion Garden Group’s request to hold a summer garden tour beginning on Friday, June 25. The self-guided-by-map tour will feature 10 private Marion gardens, and the group anticipates selling between 250-300 tickets as part of a fundraiser. Hoffer said he doesn’t foresee any potential health problems from the event’s setup, as long as social distancing is observed and other common pandemic precautions implemented.

            “It’s nice to have people doing something outdoors and enjoying a little bit of the Marion summer after a long winter,” Hoffer said.

            The next meeting of the Marion Board of Health will be held on Tuesday, March 2, at 4:00 pm.

Marion Board of Health

By Jean Perry

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