National supply issues and state logistics are holding up an otherwise smooth Island vaccination process, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital officials said Wednesday, as they continue to administer doses to Vineyard residents ages 75 and older.

In a bi-weekly press briefing, hospital CEO Denise Schepici and head of operations Claire Seguin said 702 Islanders had been vaccinated in phase two of the state’s vaccine rollout, with another 700 scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday of this week. The hospital, which is serving as the Island’s main public vaccination site, has also administered 738 doses to first responders and community health workers.

Ms. Seguin said the hospital expected to have vaccinated 70 per cent of the estimated 2,000 Island residents who are 75 or older by the end of the week.

But all the weeks after remain a question mark.

“We’ll await guidance from the state as to when to start vaccinating patients 65 or older and those with two co-morbidities,” Ms. Schepici said. “The challenge, along with every other provider, continues to be the supply . . . it’s a national issue.”

Ms. Seguin and Ms. Schepici said the hospital had scheduled staff for clinics next week, but was still waiting on direction from the state on whether they could open up availability for larger swaths of the Island population.

“If we have vaccine, and we have a supply, we would love to start the over 65 with co-morbidities sooner,” Ms. Schepici said. “But we have not received that permission or guidance from the state. So we will just have to wait.”

She added:

“This is just supposition, but I don’t think the governor is going to want to see dosages getting wasted. So if we have extras, we will make a push to get going.”

Ms. Seguin said regardless of whether the state allows those 65 or older to start receiving vaccines, the hospital would be providing second doses to health care workers and first responders who received their first shots as part of phase one back in January.

The vaccine requires two doses, administered about a month apart.

“Statewide, we’re probably ahead of the curve, here on Martha’s Vineyard,” Ms. Seguin said. “Statewide, they still have a ways to go to get this group, and . . . the vaccine supply is still limited.”

Ms. Schepici added that the logistics involved with large vaccination sites, compared to the hospital, were complicating the rollout throughout the commonwealth.

“Initially we thought maybe we would have multiple vaccine sites, and do it at the Ag Hall, or someplace else,” Ms. Schepici said. “But some of these big sites are just logistically difficult, and I think that’s what some of these other areas are facing. We’ve got a well-oiled machine working at the hospital right now.”

The hospital is holding a community vaccine forum Friday in conjunction with Dukes County officials at 5 p.m. Ms. Schepici said the hospital would make a brief presentation, but that the forum would mainly be an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the Island vaccination process.

Islanders will receive notification through Patient Gateway if they are eligible for the vaccine. Residents who do not use Patient Gateway can fill out a state attestation form and send the confirmation email to

“There’s been a lot of confusion and questions. I think it’s dying down, now that we’ve got some legs around the vaccine experience. But we want to make sure the public knows what we’re doing, and how to access us. It’s just one more forum to get the word out,” Ms. Schepici said.

Even as overall case numbers have dipped on the Island, the hospital currently has three patients admitted with Covid-19, according to an update Wednesday. Two of the patients admitted last week are in good condition, Ms. Seguin said. A third patient admitted Monday is in fair condition.

Patient condition is determined generally by the amount of intervention medical caregivers have to make, Ms. Seguin explained. For example, a Covid-19 patient in fair condition may require oxygen and monitoring.

Although hospital officials said the recent decrease in caseload was a positive, they continued to urge vigilance and confirmed that the winter case surge was caused in part by travel related to the holiday season. They cautioned against similar travel during February vacation week, which begins Feb. 22.

“It’s great to see the numbers going down, and I am cautiously optimistic that will continue. But that only depends on our vigilance. We just have to continue to take care. We will see a rise. We will see an increase,” Ms. Schepici said.

“The December/January holidays definitely contributed to those numbers going back up,” Ms. Seguin added. “We know that happens.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Schepici and Ms. Seguin said the hospital had received a delivery of paper hearts from the West Tisbury School that said “spread love, not hate,” which have been distributed throughout the building. The regional high school class of 2023 had also distributed similar messages across the Island community.

Sunday is Valentine’s Day.

And officials were particularly excited that the week’s snowstorms did nothing to slow interest in the vaccine.

“We have a very hardy bunch of seniors here,” Ms. Schepici said. “They showed up in the snow. Nothing stopped them from coming. It was really great to see.”