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Hundreds receive COVID shot during first mass vaccination clinic at Bishop International Airport

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 9:50 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) (3/6/2021)--As ABC12 reported Friday, The Genesee County Health Department is expecting its supply of vaccine to increase in the coming weeks.

That fact paved the way for a partnership with Flint’s Bishop International Airport, which hosted its first mass vaccination clinic in the parking lot Saturday morning. Around a thousand people received the vaccine this time around. The new permanent site will allow healthcare workers to quickly dole out the expected increase in doses.

“I just feel more prepared.”

One of the first to roll up his sleeves here, Jaylen Shock developed a severe case of coronavirus early on last year. The healthcare worker has spent the last 12 months donating antibody-rich plasma.

“This was a good opportunity to get vaccinated, make sure I’m protecting myself and others,” he related.

ABC12′s cameras caught dozens of cars lining up across the economy parking lot at Bishop International Airport on the first day in its new role: a permanent vaccination site. At full tilt, Genesee County Health Department Nursing Director Kim VanSlyke-Smith told ABC12 the site could dose 1200 plus patients every time it’s up and running.

“It’s a very exciting day for us today,” she explained. “We have a tent structure that will stay on site so we can schedule multiple repeat events.”

“It’s a relief I can get it done today.”

Sharon Butler – receiving that first dose and thinking of her family.

“I have a brand new granddaughter,” Butler related. “I’d rather be on the safe side, keep my family healthy.”

The process here has been streamlined. Patients pull their cars through, roll up their sleeves and get the shot. They then wait for 15-30 minutes under observation before going on their way. Walk-ins aren’t permitted just yet. Only those who have been scheduled and cleared ahead of time by the folks at the health department will receive a dose.

“We will likely have an event here at least once every week to start off with and probably more often than that as we gear up,” VanSlyke-Smith explained.

Shock said the experience was carefree and pretty standard.

“No third arm,” he laughed. “I feel normal, feel alright. I think it’s something everybody should start doing.”

The plan is to shuffle between the airport and Flint Northwestern for drive-through clinics, which ABC12 was told would occur several times a week as vaccine supplies increase.

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