COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Thus far, the process for the Public Health Department to request COVID-19 vaccines from the State of Michigan has required calculating how many doses we need in Calhoun County for the upcoming week, requesting that amount from the State, and then, hopefully, administering them to patients the following week. Last week, Calhoun County's Public Health Department requested 2,975 vaccines, and the State was only able to deliver 975 vaccines.
To receive the vaccine, the first priority is providing the required second dose to people who already received the first dose. Anyone who received the first dose will receive a second. However, due to receiving drastically fewer vaccine doses than we planned for, the Public Health Department cannot yet schedule more clinics. As soon as we receive more vaccine, we will schedule clinics, and staff is ready to vaccinate residents as quickly as possible.
Calhoun County seniors can continue to call 269-441-0912 to add their names to a waitlist for a COVID-19 vaccine. Numerous service organizations in Calhoun County are working together to maintain this list and assist with these clinics. Due to tremendous interest in receiving the vaccine and the minimal supply right now, the waitlist in Calhoun County, as of Jan. 17, has over 7,000 seniors. On average, 500-600 people are added to that list per day. Both the Public Health Department and non-profit organizations that are working on this effort feel confident that once vaccine is received, everyone on the waitlist will be able to be vaccinated quickly. We appreciate everyone's patience.
"If I could snap my fingers and produce adequate amounts of vaccine, I have no doubt in my mind that with the partnership between the Public Health Department, CareWell Services and the site partners, we could vaccinate all seniors who desire to be vaccinated over the course of the next couple of months. We are, indeed, only limited by the supply of vaccine. I have never worked with a mightier group of folks!" said Karla Fales, CEO of CareWell Services Southwest.
The cooperative spirit countywide continues in these coordinated efforts to ensure seniors in Calhoun are vaccinated quickly. Calhoun is working closely with local hospitals to vaccinate various priority groups identified by MDHHS, as well as talking every week about each's vaccination plans. The priority of every organization is to strategically get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
For instance, Oaklawn Hospital and the Public Health Department are working together to vaccinate healthcare personnel from regional dental, chiropractic, and optometrist offices and mental health providers. At an Oaklawn clinic for these groups on Jan. 16, 200 people were vaccinated. As more vaccine is available, Oaklawn will work with the CCPHD to identify other individuals in 1A and 1B priority groups that have not been vaccinated yet, and schedule with them to make that happen. Oaklawn is administering Moderna vaccine and the CCPHD is administering the Pfizer vaccine. Read the Oaklawn press release from Jan. 19
Where to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Calhoun County
There are multiple places individuals aged 65+ can receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Calhoun County. Last week, Bronson hospital offices in Battle Creek, and elsewhere in the region, vaccinated over 2,000 individuals over 65. The VA Medical Center of Battle Creek has also released information about vaccination opportunities for veteran seniors.
The Public Health Department encourages residents to pursue any of these options, as they are eligible to receive the vaccine. For individuals who are on the Health Department's waitlist, if they able to receive the vaccine at a local hospital, they should call 269-441-0912 to be removed from the waitlist. Because each entity is using a different process for appointment-making, this process will help make sure no vaccine dose is waste, by filling open appointments with waiting residents.
Residents should also know that at this time, Meijer is not providing the vaccine in Calhoun County.