Berrien County pushes for COVID-19 vaccine among adolescents

Pfizer Vaccine
Posted at 3:45 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 15:45:08-04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The Berrien County Health Department and Spectrum Health Lakeland are urging parents of kids 12 years and older to have them receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Both Spectrum and Berrien County Health Department aim to have students be safe in the classroom at the onset of the new year.

“Getting your child vaccinated for COVID-19 is a big decision and it’s understandable that parents have questions,” said Anne Dudley, DO, pediatrician, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “As a pediatrician, I encourage all my patients age 12 and older to get vaccinated. The vaccine has been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history and is proven to provide safe and effective protection against COVID-19. As children head back to school, being fully vaccinated allows them the opportunity to return to a sense of normalcy as they safely participate in events and activities they may have previously had to miss out on.”

Both organizations will host a Facebook Live on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 12:30 p.m. to address parents’ questions and disinclinations with experts from Spectrum Health Lakeland and Berrien County Health Department.

Those who receive the vaccine will not miss school, sports games, social events and other activities if someone who is considered a close contact tests positive for COVID-19 according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

“We all know that in-person learning is the best place for kids to develop academically, grow in social skills, and build emotional resilience,” said Rex Cabaltica, MD, MPH, medical director, Berrien County Health Department. “Our goal is to protect this ability to attend school in person for as many kids as possible during this upcoming school year.”

More information can be found at or