Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update - February 26, 2021

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February 26, 2021

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) sent this weekly vaccine update to those who signed up for vaccine notifications or COVID-19 updates. If you already received your vaccine and do not want to be on the notification list, please unsubscribe here. If you no longer want to receive COVID-19 updates, please unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.

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Information While Waiting for the Vaccine

This week's vaccine video update on Facebook and YouTube
Includes an interview with special guests who shared the health department's diversity, equity and inclusion work to address health inequities during the COVID-19 response; disparities in case rates, access to testing and vaccine distribution. The interview starts here

Also, check out this week's public health update given by Medical Director Dr. Heidel and Senior Epidemiologist Derel Glashower during the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Every Wednesday at noon we will provide the latest Ottawa County vaccine and response updates at Facebook.com/miOttawaHealth and YouTube.com/miOttawa. Next week includes special guests who 
will share how the pandemic has increased the challenges for families and children with special needs.



Recent Questions & Answers

What is Ottawa County doing to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines?

Health equity is a focal point in public health. The OCDPH continues its equitable vaccine distribution efforts by:

  • Collaborating with more than 20 community partners including faith-based organizations, social service organizations, businesses and trusted key advisors.
  • Using targeted outreach and recruitment through community partners.
    • Target population = Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and/or harder-to-reach individuals who may face technological or language barriers (ages 65 and older).
    • Sharing messages and client experiences.
  • Holding weekly calls with partners to evaluate and improve current outreach efforts.
  • Ensuring all clinics have bilingual and bicultural staff present; language line services are also available when needed.
  • Making paperwork available in multiple languages.
  • Offering vaccination in vehicles for those with high mobility limitations upon request.
  • Piloting smaller community sites and increase walkability.
  • Offering “Reserve-a-Ride” through MaxBus in the Holland area and working with community partners to provide transportation.
  • Promoting phone lines for people to call if they have no or limited internet access, such as 2-1-1 and the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136.
  • Providing communication materials in multiple languages to partnering agencies, online and printed materials at grocery stores, migrant camps, laundromats, restaurants, bakeries, faith-based organizations, manufacturing companies, mobile home community buildings and more. 

Ottawa County Vaccines & Equity

At the Ottawa County Department of Public Health Vaccination Clinics ONLY – 
8.7% of vaccinated people aged 65 and older are Non-White or Hispanic, similar to the population of people aged 65 and older who are Non-White or Hispanic in Ottawa County overall.


Read more from the Holland Sentinel article - "Vaccine rollout meeting equity goal in Ottawa County" and Read more "Ottawa County working to reach vulnerable populations with vaccine rollout" by Arpan Lobo.

How can a safe COVID-19 vaccine be made so quickly?

Vaccine development typically takes many years. However, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with COVID-19. No steps were skipped in the development of this vaccine but modifications to the process were made to shorten the timeline without sacrificing safety, such as:

  • Overlapping phase I and phase II clinical trials. Phase I studies include a small number of people and evaluate whether the vaccine causes an immune response and is safe. Scientists looked at data from a group of people in phase I as phase II was progressing to make these evaluations.
  • While completing large phase III trials, manufacturers began producing the vaccine, so that if it were shown to be safe and effective, they would have large numbers of doses ready.
  • While waiting for a vaccine to be ready, many other aspects of vaccine delivery were prepared (e.g., developing plans for how to distribute the first, limited quantities available, ensuring adequate supplies for distributing and administering the vaccine.)


Click to enlarge the infographic.

When will the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be available?

Today, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is discussing whether to recommend the Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine candidate for the FDA’s emergency use authorization. A decision and more information is expected next week. The vaccine is the third under consideration in the United States and will be the first single-dose COVID-19 shot available. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate has shown to be 72% effective in the United States and 66% effective overall (globally) at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, 28 days after vaccination. It is 85% effective overall in preventing severe disease and demonstrated complete protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death as of day 28. 

“Changing the trajectory of the pandemic will require mass vaccination to create herd immunity, and a single-dose regimen with fast onset of protection and ease of delivery and storage provides a potential solution to reaching as many people as possible. The ability to avoid hospitalizations and deaths would change the game in combating the pandemic,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development.


Mary Wisinski, Kent County Health Department Immunization Supervisor, talk more about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Story courtesy of WOOD TV8.

Can I choose which vaccine I want? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci says if a coronavirus vaccine is available to you, regardless of which one, take it. Fauci is the White House COVID-19 Response Team Chief Medical Adviser who indicates the key to ending the pandemic is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible. Hear the latest from Fauci.

I was supposed to get my Pfizer 2nd shot 3 weeks after my 1st shot. Why did I have to wait 4 weeks and did that reduce its effectiveness?

All 2nd doses (regardless of Pfizer or Moderna) are being given after four weeks at the OCDPH clinics. This helps to streamline scheduling and helps run clinics more efficiently. The CDC allows for the time between the first and second dose to be up to 6 weeks. This does not change the effectiveness of the vaccines. 


I heard food processing and agriculture workers are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 1, 2021, is this true?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is opening up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to food processing and agriculture workers starting March 1, 2021, as vaccine supplies become available. Local jurisdictions are awaiting further guidance from the state on the sub-prioritization of these essential workers because of the limited vaccine supply. Priority will be given where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred and/or to workers who are at increased risk for severe illness. At this time, these workers do not include grocery store workers or people who work in restaurants.

According to MDHHS, the state’s food and agriculture sector is critical to feeding Michiganders, the continuity of the economy and spans a wide range of jobs. Within the sector, workers at the highest risk are those who must work in close proximity to many other people for extended periods of time. In Michigan and across the country, there have been significant outbreaks particularly in processing of meat, fruit and vegetable processing, and in harvesting of some crops.

Therefore, the state's priority is on:

  • Food processing workers include meat processing and meatpacking facilities; processing of fruit and vegetables; dairy processing; animal feed manufacturing; food and animal feed ingredient manufacturing; beverage production; and the production of food packaging.
  • Agricultural workers include farmers and farm workers, including migrant and seasonal workers, involved in raising, cultivating, harvesting, packing, storing, and distributing agricultural commodities, and who are by the nature of their work in close proximity and contact with other people.

Currently, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health will continue administering COVID-19 vaccines to first responders, people aged 65 and older, education staff (Pre-K through 12th grade) and childcare workers. However, the health department has been working closely with Lakeshore Advantage and employers to develop vaccine distribution plans to ensure essential workers receive the vaccine when it is available.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and to sign up to receive a notification when the vaccine may be available to you, visit www.miottawa.org/covid19 and click on the red button 'Vaccine Notification Sign Up'. Employers may also complete the Essential Worker Vaccine Intake form.

More Vaccine Information Resources

 VaccinateWestMi.com FAQs I CDC COVID-19 FAQs Flyer I CDC FAQ Website

Alternative Languages: Arabic | Spanish | Korean | Russian | Simplified Chinese | Tagalog | Traditional Chinese | Vietnamese

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa County


Click the image to open the MDHHS vaccine dashboard.

This week OCDPH received 3,710 first doses and second doses. Additional partnerships with Coopersville Public Schools, SpartanNash Pharmacies, North Ottawa Community Health System, Spectrum Health Zeeland, Holland Hospital and the City of Holland have enabled OCPDH to reach more areas within Ottawa County and vaccinate those 65 years of age and older, education staff (Pre-K through 12th grade), childcare workers and first responders.

Ottawa County's shipment this week was not affected by the nationwide shipment delays because of adverse weather. 

Total Ottawa County:

  • 42,280 first and second COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed to Ottawa County health care systems and the health department by MDHHS as of 2/22/21, according to the state's vaccine map data

  • 66,317 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of 2/25/21.

The number of doses administered is higher than the number of doses received because vaccinators have been able to consistently get at least six doses from the five dose vials. Additionally, doses reported are based on where the person lives. If an Ottawa County resident receives their vaccine from a location outside of the county, it is still counted as Ottawa County.

More vaccine data from MDHHS here


John shares why he got vaccinated

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Karen shares why she got vaccinated for Polio & COVID-19

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Michigan National Guard vaccinating more Holland residents than originally anticipated

MI guard

Article by the Michigan National Guard

“We are here servicing the Holland area and administering COVID vaccines all as a part of trying to get ahead and slow the spread,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Danyelle Foster, an administrative specialist with Task Force Spartan, Michigan Army National Guard. “I think this is a great event and I appreciate everyone who is coming out to get their vaccine, along with everyone who is helping this cause.”

“Being in the National Guard means we are here for our state and our community,” said Foster. “We give back and are creating new partnerships and bonds between the military and the community that we serve. I think that is super important.”

“We could not do these events without additional help—we have a limited staff and we still have (other) programs we need to run at the health department,” said Tonya Barber, the clerical staff supervisor for the Ottawa County Health Department. “Our staff is very thin, so to be able to have the National Guard jump in is great.”


Find the latest Ottawa County COVID-19 response updates at www.miOttawa.org/covid19

Ottawa County COVID-19 Data Hub


Please check out other partner organizations also offering the COVID-19 vaccine at www.VaccinateWestMi.com/register. For locations statewide, please call the Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 or visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.


Miss the event? Watch here.

Racial Disparities in Health Care—Digging Deeper


Click the image to watch the event.

Learn more at HarmonyAlliance.org

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan


Michigan received 2,621,255 doses with 2,131,955 of those administered statewide as of 2/26/21. More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.

race data

Click on the graph to learn more.


Whitmer’s Update on COVID-19 Response and In-Person Learning

New report shows that 97% of school districts will be back in-person by March 1

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update regarding COVID-19 and the continued efforts to slow the spread of the virus and ramp up vaccinations efforts. They were joined by Craig Carmoney, superintendent of the year and Superintendent of Meridian Public Schools in Midland County who was recently appointed to Governor Whitmer’s Student Recovery Advisory Council. The governor talked about the importance of in-person learning and how the state is committed to keeping Michigan safely moving forward 


mdhhs town hall

MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I StrategyDistribution Guidance I MI Vaccine Locations

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

mdhhs timeline

Click to enlarge the MDHHS vaccine distribution timeline.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States


Click to view more data.

NIH study finds that people with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may have a low risk of future infection

People who have had evidence of a prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, appear to be well protected against being reinfected with the virus, at least for a few months, according to a newly published study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This finding may explain why reinfection appears to be relatively rare, and it could have important public health implications, including decisions about returning to physical workplaces, school attendance, the prioritization of vaccine distribution, and other activities.


Protect Your Personal Info on Social Media Pictures


Sharing a picture of your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media could put you at risk for identity theft. Your vaccine card has sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) and can contain information like your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Patient number
  • Insurance information
  • Location where you received the vaccine. 

By posting images of this document to your accounts, you are sharing sensitive data that scammers can use to commit fraud.


COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the pandemic

  • Wearing masks and physical distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.



Clusters of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Elementary School Educators and Students in One School District — Georgia, December 2020–January 2021

What is already known about this topic?

In-person learning provides important benefits to children and communities. Understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools is critical to improving the safety of in-person learning.

What is added by this report?

An investigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a Georgia school district during December 1, 2020–January 22, 2021, identified nine clusters of COVID-19 cases involving 13 educators and 32 students at six elementary schools. Two clusters involved probable educator-to-educator transmission that was followed by educator-to-student transmission in classrooms and resulted in approximately one half (15 of 31) of school-associated cases.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Educators might play a central role in in-school transmission networks. Preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections through multifaceted school mitigation measures and COVID-19 vaccination of educators is a critical component of preventing in-school transmission.


First Month of COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Monitoring — United States, December 14, 2020–January 13, 2021

What is already known about this topic?

Two COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization for administration in the United States. In preauthorization clinical trials, local and systemic reactions were reported; no serious safety problems were detected.

What is added by this report?

Monitoring, conducted as part of the U.S. vaccination program, indicates reassuring safety profiles for COVID-19 vaccines. Local and systemic reactions were common; rare reports of anaphylaxis were received. No unusual or unexpected reporting patterns were detected.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Health care providers and vaccine recipients can be reassured about the safety of Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Counseling vaccine recipients to expect transient local and systemic reactions might ease concerns and encourage completion of the 2-dose vaccination series.