Shots in Arms campaign stops in Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Mary Wisinski has been a nurse for 43 years, recalling the HIV outbreak in the 1980s and treating measles sufferers over the years. When COVID emerged in March 2020, she said she had never seen anything like it.
So it makes her happy to see how it ends.
“Any shot that goes into an arm is good for me,” Wisinski said during an interview at a pop-up vaccine clinic at the Hilton Garden Inn on the belt.
Wisinski, now director of the vaccination program at Kent County’s Health Department, stopped by the clinic Wednesday afternoon, which was open only to restaurant, retail and hospitality workers. It was run by the Department of Health, Governor Whitmer’s Protect Michigan Commission, the Small Business Association, and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, and it’s all part of the Shots in Arms campaign.
“When we open up and people are more comfortable in hotels and restaurants, having the workers and the people who serve them are fully vaccinated is another incentive for them to feel more secure,” said Wisinski. “I think it is also a kind of peace of mind for workers’ families to know that they are safe.”
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The SBA offered $ 50 gift cards to the first 200 people vaccinated, including workers and family members. Wisinski said she was happy to see the clinic considering what she witnessed over the past year.
“You have no idea how it feels. I spent the last year from March 2020 until probably December doing COVID-19 tests. My team was responsible for delivering results, ”she recalls. “I’ve worked many 12-hour weekends and called 50-300 people with their results, and it felt hopeless when you tell someone they’re positive and cry.”
However, vaccines bring smiles and relief to people’s faces, she said. The clinic lasted from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It was her fifth so far and the next one will be in Kalamazoo next week.
“It’s the biggest tool in our tool kit: it’s the step to end this pandemic,” said Wisinski. “That’s what getting a vaccine in the guns is going to do.”
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