Spectrum Health Lakeland administers first COVID-19 vaccines

ST. JOSEPH — Wednesday marked an historic day for Spectrum Health Lakeland as administration of the COVID-19 vaccine began.

According to Spectrum Health representatives, vaccination will take place in a phased approach, with health care personnel and long-term care facility residents receiving the vaccine first. Additional doses are expected to be delivered in the coming days along with regular shipments over the next several months as determined by the State of Michigan.

“The vaccine is an exciting first step in saving lives and stemming the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, and president at Spectrum Health Lakeland. “We are hopeful and optimistic this represents a new path toward controlling the pandemic.”

A multi-disciplinary team at Spectrum Health Lakeland has been planning for months and the health system is equipped with freezers necessary to store the vaccine. Lakeland is partnering with health systems and the state and local health departments in the region to ensure a coordinated approach for the next phase of distribution to elderly people living in group settings, such as long-term care facilities, and other essential workers like teachers, police officers and fire fighters.

“While we are pleased to be part of this first step in controlling COVID-19 for the future, we must remain diligent about protecting ourselves and each other for many months to come,” Hamel said.

Information is not available at this time regarding when additional supplies of the vaccine will be available for the broader community, including high-risk groups such as the elderly. For more information, including vaccines FAQs, visit vaccinatewestmi.com or spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19

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