Kalamazoo County Holds Mass COVID Vaccinations
Kalamazoo County is holding its first mass-vaccination clinics for COVID-19.
County Medical Director Doctor William Nettleton says the events December 22 and 23 are for EMTs and other front-line health care workers.
"There will be over 300 people we plan to vaccine today, and over 200 people we plan to vaccinate tomorrow. So, we're here all afternoon and through the evening to accommodate the special, unique features of being on call 24/7 as a health care worker."
The County's Department of Health and Community Services will also soon immunizing others at higher risk of getting the virus. They include healthy people over 65, teachers and grocery store workers. Through a federal contract with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, CVS and Walgreen pharmacies are giving shots to staff and residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.(P) Nettleton says the general public will have to wait.
"The general population will likely be vaccinated later in the spring, once more availability of the vaccine becomes more apparent."
But Nettleton says he expects corona virus vaccines to become available in many places, especially the newly approved Moderna version. It can be stored at higher temperatures than the Pfizer vaccine the County is using now.
"We will continue to have more mass-vaccination clinics through local public health, and as the vaccine becomes more available, our community is going to be seeing it more often in traditional health care settings like clinics and hospitals."
Kalamazoo County health officials say they hope to immunize 75-percent of its residents against the coronavirus by the end of 2021.