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COVID-19 vaccinations begin to roll out

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services calls for all residents 16 and older to be vaccinated by September.

By Dr. David Schriemer

It has been a long year of mask wearing, social distancing, concern for those infected with COVID-19 and mourning those who have died.

The release of effective and safe vaccines for COVID-19 is great news. Supplies of vaccine are limited, so the vaccine is being released to higher risk groups first. This is a massive effort. The lack of solid release dates of the vaccine for each county and different risk groups has caused significant frustration and anxiety.

The vaccines are safe and effective. They went through the same rigorous process of testing and approval that all new vaccines must. What was different with COVID-19 was that vaccines were being produced while studies were ongoing.

Dr. David Schriemer gets his Pfizer vaccine to protect him from COVID-19.

As physicians, my wife, Paula, and I received the COVID-19 vaccination that was available. I received the Pfizer vaccine, Paula received the Moderna vaccine. Each of the current vaccines require two doses 3-4 weeks apart. Neither of us had a significant reaction.

Supply and distribution of the vaccine continues to be challenging. Vaccines are being administered by hospitals and county health departments. Pharmacies were contracted to immunize residents of nursing homes, assisted living and senior living centers. Only as vaccine is received can appointment slots be opened up for vaccinations. Bronson patients can check bronsonhealthcare.com for updates. Borgess is contacting patients to schedule appointments and county health departments also have vaccination sites.

Information about vaccine availability is constantly being updated. Look for information from your county health department (http://www.kalcounty.com/hcs/), hospitals and reliable news sources.

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