The public school system of a Michigan township was forced to close due to a staffing shortage after a number of staff members suffered adverse reactions to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine boosters.
In a since-deleted update posted on the Saginaw Township Community Schools (SCTS) website, the district informed parents all facilities would be closed on Monday, Nov. 8 “due to a staffing shortage.”
The notice stated that staff members “will not report,” and that while child care and extracurricular activities were cancelled for the day, the SCTS Board meeting was still on the schedule. It explained, “A large number of our staff had a negative reaction to the COVID booster shot given at a voluntary clinic over the weekend, resulting in absences today.”
“There is a substitute teacher/staff shortage throughout the state, further complicating the availability to cover those absences.”
The notice was also posted to the district’s Facebook page and reiterated again on Nov. 9.
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Although details are sparse online, some vaccine drives, such as those held by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office, announced a combination influenza and COVID-19 booster clinic on Nov. 3.
A promotional material for vaccine clinics posted on the Saginaw Public Health (SPH) website also showed a Nov. 5 walk-in clinic was set up to distribute both COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and influenza injections to all takers over 12, noting, “watch for details about children 5-11.”
Michigan’s NBC25 stated in a Nov. 5 advertorial for a vaccination clinic targeting children aged 5 to 11 titled ‘I Want To Lead by Example and Bring My Own Two Nine-Year-Olds Here To Get Vaccinated’ that, “The Saginaw County Health Department says this was the first time they held a clinic where this age group could be vaccinated.”
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Saginaw County’s population at approximately 190,000 people. SPH reports a total of 27,629 positive PCR tests and 667 COVID-associated deaths incurred since the pandemic began.
Data notes the majority of positive cases (63.5 percent) have occurred in four age brackets between 1 and 49, while the absolute majority of deaths have been suffered by those in age brackets between 50 and 90+.
According to a heatmap, more than 10,000 cases have been centralized between the City of Saginaw and Saginaw Charter Township.
In a separate dataset provided examining vaccine breakthrough cases, the most recent dated Sept. 8, SPH noted 160 breakthrough cases in August, representing 16.5 percent of all positive PCR tests in the area.
“The reason for the increase in breakthrough cases in August is unclear. Experts point to the Delta variant, waning immunity from the vaccine, and increased transmission in areas with low vaccination rates,” states the report, which laments that “just under 53% of residents are fully vaccinated.”
The release was already pushing booster injections at the time, “The CDC, U.S. Surgeon General and the FDA are now recommending booster shots for those who are fully vaccinated,” it states, adding, “Planning is now underway in Saginaw County for booster shots, which Governor Whitmer says will be available in Michigan starting September 20 — pending recommendation from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”
The drive has not appeared popular. In the two months since the vaccine breakthrough dataset was published, it appears vaccination acceptance rate has risen only a few percentage points. Data on the Michigan State website shows the County currently has a 55.17 percent single injection ratio.
Local news station ABC12 published a televised segment covering the school closure, candidly admitting it was a result of adverse reactions to booster injections, on Nov. 8.
However, the outlet marginalized vaccine adverse reactions to the novel gene therapy injections as being categorized between “local reactions” such as “pain and itching at the injection site” and “systemic reactions” such as “muscle pain and fatigue.”