Berrien County health officials say Phase 1A of the county’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign – which includes healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff – is well underway.
Spectrum Health Lakeland President Dr. Loren Hamel said over the last two weeks, about 20 percent of the Lakeland staff has received a first dose of the vaccine.
County Health Officer Nicki Britten said the health department has also begun administering first doses – to EMS workers, medical first responders and vaccinators, who are giving people the shots.
Britten said things are going well, but health officials are working to make sure the administration of first doses doesn’t slow down as second doses begin over the next month.
“Everything we’re doing now, we need to double moving forward," she said. "We’ve been trying to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up for a pace we can maintain so we have that long-term endurance.”
Britten expects to start Phase 1B – which includes people over age 75 and several categories of essential workers – in late January or early February.
Until then, she and Hamel asked community members for patience, and thanked them for their hard work and cooperation throughout 2020.
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