KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Two centenarians are leading by example and received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday in Kalamazoo.
A 101-year-old man and 100-year-old woman both received their first doses alongside their children in Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood.
Both of them said it was no big deal, and everyone should sign up to get theirs.
"You’re a milestone. You are 101 years old," said Vince Hodge, the 101-year-old man's son.
"I’m a what?" said 101-year-old William Hodge, who received his first dose of the COVID vaccine.
"Milestone," said Vince.
"I’m a milestone?" said William.
"You’re a legend in your own time," said Vince.
On Thursday, 101-year-old William Hodge got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine alongside his son Vince.
"He’s glad this is happening. He is kind of relieved about it. He was nervous about it all of the time," said Vince.
100-year-old Annie Lewis also received her vaccine, and to her, she said it's just like other vaccines she has had before.
"I have been around so long, and you see so many new things come out. I get kind of excited, you know?" said Annie Lewis, a 100-year-old who received her first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
"She said she would be glad to get the vaccine so she could show everybody else that there is no harm in getting the vaccine," said Annie's daughter Virginia Jackson.
Annie and William were two centenarians among 500 other people in the 65-plus category to receive their vaccine at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood.
"I think it’s a tremendous testament to, first of all, life and living, and how important life and living continues to be, that you have 100-year-old individuals to actually further their life. It is an inspiration, I think, to everybody," said Addis Moore, the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and the president of the Northside Ministry Alliance.
It is one of the many out clinics the Kalamazoo County Public Health Department has opened up to make it easier for those living in the area to sign up to get their vaccine.
"It is unfortunate that we have 26,000 people on a waiting list, but we are fortunate that we have that amount of demand particularly for the 65-and-above population, so I think it is pretty indicative of people taking this seriously," said Kalamazoo County Public Health Department Health Officer Jim Rutherford.
The Kalamazoo County Public Health Department said they have seen a slight increase of vaccine doses in shipments but not nearly as many as they need to vaccinate the numbers they're capable of each week.