Berrien County prepares for phase 1C of vaccinations

NOW: Berrien County prepares for phase 1C of vaccinations

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- If you’re looking to get vaccinated in Berrien County, it’s your turn, as long as you fit into priority group 1A – now up under the state’s guidelines.

“Physical therapists, dentists, eye doctors, pharmacists, anyone in an outpatient setting, home healthcare and even clerical staff who are having that direct patient interaction,” said Gillian Conrad, MPH, Communications Director at the Berrien County Health Department.

Just as they were preparing for phase 1B, the health department will have to quickly arrange incorporating phase 1C, too, after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement Wednesday that the state would be expediting the process – meaning those 65 and older, first responders, educators, and prison and jail staff are also eligible starting Monday.

This is to make up for a slow vaccination start, with only 27 percent of vaccines received so far actually being administered.

“As we move into January, we will start to see the pace of vaccinations pick up,” said Conrad. “It was challenging to begin our efforts right around the holidays.”

Another challenge locally will be having enough vaccines available.

“We will be able to move into subsequent phases especially as more vaccine becomes available, right now we’re not alone in the fact that we don’t have enough vaccine in our stock to vaccinate everyone in our county who wants one,” said Conrad.

And hoping confidence in the vaccine will continue to grow.

“Back in early October, only about 35 to 45 percent of Americans indicated they would be interested in receiving the vaccine, now that’s closer to 60 to 65 percent of people,” said Conrad.

To fill out the Berrien County Health Department’s vaccine appointment form, click here.

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