South County vaccine clinic a success

Nearly 500 people were vaccinated at Vicksburg High School gym.

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

The Kalamazoo County Health Department vaccinated nearly 500 South County residents in a March 30 clinic at the Vicksburg High School gym. Recipients received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine free of charge.

Executive Director Drew Johnson of South County Community Services (SCCS), said 487 vaccines were administered. The agency made the vaccine available to 18-and-older residents of Vicksburg and Schoolcraft villages and townships of Pavilion, Climax, Wakeshma, Brady, Schoolcraft and Prairie Ronde townships. The clinic used the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because the targeted recipients were those who might be unable to travel to the bigger clinics in Kalamazoo. The one-shot vaccine has been shown to be extremely effective at keeping people safe.

Johnson, whose agency was actively involved in the scheduling and outreach, was pleased. “We were very happy that we didn’t fill up until the day before the clinic, which to us meant that we had the correct number of vaccines available for the area.”

Johnson indicated the agency had adequate time to reach out to clients, many of whom are “older or living with conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.” SCCS personnel contacted over 350 seniors and provided transportation as needed.

“This was a true partnership,” Johnson said. “The County of Kalamazoo was great to work with throughout the process and very well-organized.” Johnson also expressed appreciation for the Vicksburg Community Schools who made available a space with plenty of room for social distancing.

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