COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Mid-Michigan

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 7:32 PM EST
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) -It started out in Portage, near Kalamazoo, heading to Lansing. From Lansing to Louisville Kentucky.

From Kentucky back to our state’s capital before making its way to Midland. Wednesday morning-- the COVID-19 vaccine to help in the fight against the coronavirus arrived in Mid Michigan.

“I think it’s a day of hope. I think it’s a day that people have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Mid Michigan Health of Midland physician, Richard Bates MD.

The first dose of the vaccine was administered at Mid Michigan Health in Midland to an ICU nurse Wednesday afternoon.

But Dr. Bates says that’s just the beginning for the healthcare system.

“We have freezers to have vaccine here in Midland but we also serve communities as far north as Alpena, Alma and Gratiot West Branch, Gladwin Clare, Mt Pleasant and so our logistical challenge has been to get this vaccine to all of those communities,” he said.

And that starts today. Following a dry run in Midland, Bates hit the road to take the vaccine to Alpena where 10 hospital staff there will receive doses of the vaccine. 29 vials in all are headed up north.3-thousand doses total arrived in Midland this morning.

“We have a pharmacist in every site that will be assisting with and putting all that together for our people that are doing the vaccination. There is a piece of observing of every person that gets the vaccine, for 15 minutes for any signs of any ill effects and so that’s part of this whole process too. We’ve got to watch people for those 15 minutes. And the other challenge quite honestly of not wanting to vaccinate whole units on a single day, we’ve tiered that up so that a unit might get a third of their staff vaccinated one day, a third another day and a third another day so that if they have side effects, we haven’t wiped out a whole unit,” Bates said.

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