Battle Creek

COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Battle Creek goes to medical staff and first responders

Calhoun County residents were given a glimpse on Friday into what their own experience will be when they are able to get the long-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.

The County received 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which was used to inoculate staff with its health department, emergency medical responders, and other first responders, during a drive-thru clinic at the Toeller Building.  Among those receiving the first doses was Lynn Corrigan who drove up in her car and waited while a nurse administered the shot.

“I’m excited to get it (the vaccine) and I want to do my part to kick this thing in the rear end for 2021, and I hope everyone else does too,” Corrigan said.

The initial allotment of the vaccine was the first of a two dose regimen. Officials with the Health Department anticipate another shipment which will have the second of the two doses required for the vaccine to be fully effective.

Within three weeks those who were inoculated on Friday will receive that second dose which is critical to ensuring that individuals will be protected against the virus, said Eric Pessell, Health Officer with the County’s Health Department.

The recent drive-thru clinic is an example of what mass vaccinations will look like in 2021 and was a practice run, in addition to getting the vaccine to those frontline workers who are most at-risk and may have come into contact with or are caring for individuals who have the virus.

Pessell also warns that the availability of the vaccine should not give people a reason to become complacent. He says everyone must continue to wear masks, practice good basic hygiene and social distance.

“Just because we get vaccinated doesn’t mean we still don’t have play our part to protect ourselves and our families and to be safe,” Pessell says.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Calhoun County, visit the county’s website here.

Photos by John Grap. See more of his work here.
Calhoun County Health Department employees prepare to give a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Battle Creek Friday morning.
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Read more articles by Jane Parikh.

Jane Parikh is a freelance reporter and writer with more than 20 years of experience and also is the owner of In So Many Words based in Battle Creek. She is the Project Editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.