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West Michigan health departments, hospitals team up on new vaccine website

Consortium wants to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccine
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Posted at 3:33 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 15:33:59-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Dozens of area health departments, hospitals, colleges, and community organizations teamed up to create a new resource for information on COVID-19 vaccines.

The result is the Vaccinate West Michigan website. The consortium behind it says the site will be the "go-to" for reliable information on vaccine availability, distribution plans, and safety of the vaccine.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, highly effective and will be our best defense against the virus,” said Dr. Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department. “But it won’t be available to everyone immediately. It’s critical for the residents of West Michigan to have access to accurate, timely and consistent information about the vaccine so we can all do our part to slow the spread of the virus. That’s why we joined with partners throughout the region to launch this site.”

The website was published just days after Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was approved, and then shipped out from the company's Portage facility.

The first doses of the vaccine were administered on Monday.

“We are happy our community is eager to get their vaccines, but we ask everyone to be patient,” said Lisa Stefanovsky health officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. “As vaccines become available, our healthcare providers will distribute the vaccine according to the plans developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a national independent committee of medical and public health experts."

Organizations behind the website include: Kent County Health Department, Allegan County Health Department, Barry-Eaton District Health Department, Berrien County Health Department, District Health Department #10, Ionia County Health Department, Mid-Michigan District Health Department, Muskegon County - Public Health, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, Spectrum Health, Holland Hospital, Spectrum Health Lakeland, North Ottawa Community Hospital, Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Answer Health, Cherry Health, CVS Pharmacy, Kent County Emergency Medical Services, SpartanNash, We Are For Children, Calvin University, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.