State’s largest single-day COVID-19 vaccine clinic held in Grand Rapids
12,000 people were supposed to get a shot on Monday at Devos Place.
GRAND RAPIDS, me. – Sharon Budd had her 91 year old mother and the people living in the senior citizen community she works in when she signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I would hate being a porter and not knowing it and giving it to someone and if it stops like that then I’ll do that,” said Budd.
Budd was surprised she was able to schedule an appointment at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic on Devos Place within a week of registering.
“A little scared, but okay,” said Budd, waiting for her appointment in downtown Grand Rapids.
Budd was one of 12,000 others who were due to receive the vaccine at the clinic on Monday.
It was Michigan’s largest one-day clinic to date, according to the state health department.
“Today is a really important day for us,” said Brian Brasser, chief operating officer of Spectrum Health Grand Rapids.
The major hospital, which is the result of a partnership between Kent County’s Health Department, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, has stood idle at times, waiting for vaccine supplies, even though it can vaccinate more than 20,000 people a day.
As of Monday, the waiting list of the clinic, which is maintained by Spectrum Health, was deleted for those currently entitled.
“We expect about 50,000 cans in the next eight days,” said Brasser.
Vaccine allocations to Michigan have increased slightly in the past few weeks, and the state will open the vaccine to anyone over the age of 16 starting April 5.
Some vaccine providers have already opened up to the general public, but Spectrum Health is following state guidelines.
Eligible people for the vaccine include:
- Health care workers
- Frontline workers in critical infrastructure
- Everyone 50+
- 16+ with a disability, pre-existing health condition (and their family carer or guardian)
At the 12-hour clinic, around 1,000 people were vaccinated an hour, and 600 staff (split between paid and volunteer workers) kept the operations going.
Click here to schedule an appointment at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic
“We worked very hard to make the clinic as efficient as possible,” said Brasser.
Most patients reported moving in and out within 15 minutes.
“We can’t stop smiling,” said Markeith Bowens, who received the shot along with his fiancée Celina Navarro. “That’s why my glasses fog up, I can’t stop smiling, so we’re happy. We feel good. We hope everyone else comes out and gets the shot.”
However, the one-day vaccination report is released on the same day that Spectrum Health had to bring back visitor restrictions in its hospitals as cases and hospital stays increase again.
RELATED: COVID-19 hospital stays are on the rise for unvaccinated age groups, data shows
“We are very concerned that an increase in vaccine availability will coincide with an increase in hospital activity, which could make this much more difficult,” said Brasser.
Brasser urged people to stay vigilant.
“We are very concerned about the numbers we are seeing and we hope we can change that,” he said.
RELATED: West Michigan Vaccination Clinic awaits busiest day yet and offers parking tips
The clinic at Devos Place is a strategy that the health department and health systems use to vaccinate. Community pop-up and drive-through clinics are also used.
For more information on other clinics, visit vacinatewestmi.com.
You can also call Spectrum Health’s COVID-19 vaccine call center at 833-755-0696. The line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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