Micro-Radio Stations Assist COVID Vaccinations
Local health officials around the country are using an old technology to help vaccine people against COVID-19. They're setting up low-powered AM radio transmitters made by a West Michigan company.
Information Station Specialists President Bill Baker says the mini-radio stations provide instructions to those waiting in line to get the vaccine.
"People arrive, and they don’t know what to do necessarily. It’s a lot to put on a sign for people to read because there’s various instructions. In some parts of the country, they’re calling different parties to come in for the vaccination at a given time to listening. So, they’re sort of using the radio systems as paging systems also."
Baker says the Zeeland-based company's transmitters are a good addition to other sources of information about getting innoculated against the coronavirus.
"Of course, the same instructions are on the county’s website. But, there’s something about pulling into a facility. You want everybody to be up to the same speed, have the same instructions, and legally the various entities want to make sure that everybody gets the right instructions so that nobody gets passed over or missed."
Michigan is in "Phase 1-B" for COVID vaccinations. It includes essential workers and people 65 and older. One of the company radio systems is being used at a vaccination site at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.
And Baker says the low-power radio broadcasters aren't only used for COVID-19 vaccination sites.
"They’re being used for big food giveaway programs where counties and charities are giving away food and other household products in different parts of the country. Same idea, people are pulling in, in their cars. And of course, everybody knows they’re being used for church services, and school graduations, and these types of things too. The vaccine being the most recent application."
Baker says his company's radio systems are also used to alter motorists about road problems, at disaster sites, and to provide information to tourists.