GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mercy Health St. Mary’s and Mercy Health Physicians Partners say they're in a race with the COVID-19 vaccine versus the new variants.
The health system is helping at several clinic sites, including the West Michigan clinic at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, according to a Wednesday morning news conference.
Higher-volume sites have generally been using the Pfizer vaccine because of the storage logistics involved compared to the Moderna vaccine.
The goal is for the health system to provide 10-12,000 vaccinations weekly in the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore areas.
Karen Kennedy, a regional medical director, says Mercy Health has always been dedicated to serving the most dedicated members of the community -- including undocumented and migrant workers and the Black community.
Kennedy also emphasized the importance of continuing to come in for wellness visits and general care not related to COVID-19.
Mercy Health also plans to hold pop-up vaccination clinics in specific communities so individuals who prefer to get their shots with their usual providers can do so.
Watch the news conference:
Week-to-week distribution allocations and notifications have been "perplexing," officials said, and also saw a "pretty significant" drop over the past couple weeks before getting more than expected this week.
They also say it's natural for people to have some apprehension about the COVID-19 vaccines because they came to market so quickly, but expect that to change over time as people see others get vaccinated.