GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The West Michigan Vaccine Clinic only has one final day of administering COVID-19 vaccines before it closes for good. The DeVos Place clinic will be open on Friday but will operate with reduced hours from 2 to 6 p.m. by appointment only.
The clinic has been in the process of winding down and remained closed on Wednesday and will be closed again on Thursday. The county is now in the process of transitioning vaccines to other sites.
By the time the clinic closes on Friday, Spectrum Health estimates more than 231,000 doses will be administered at the clinic. The number far exceeds what health officials expected when the clinic opened, originally anticipating roughly 150,000 doses administered.
In order to make it possible, four organizations partnered together: Spectrum Health, Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health St. Mary's and Vaccinate West Michigan.
2,000 paid staff members were brought in from the various organizations to man the clinic. Many had volunteered from their previous roles to help vaccinate instead. Those staff members will now return to the original departments they were employed by.
"Over the last 18 months work has been very hard, and it has been on adrenaline and effort and a lot of long days," said Mark Van Dyke, manager of business assurance for Spectrum Health.
More than 1,200 volunteers helped by serving over 2,500 volunteer hours. Roughly 200 new jobs were made as a result of the clinic, which Spectrum Health hopes to keep as employed positions in other settings throughout their hospitals or other immunization sites.
"This is not the ending of our vaccine program. We are transitioning it to different portions of our community," said Van Dyke.
The clinic helped to put Kent County more than five percentage points ahead of the rest of the state in vaccine coverage.
"The scale of that venue was really unmatched and put West Michigan ahead of most of the rest of the state," said Dr. Adam London with the Kent County Health Department.