Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update - March 13, 2021

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March 13, 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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Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

This week's vaccine video update on Facebook and YouTube
Includes an interview with special guests who shared what it takes to be an epidemiologist and their important work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview starts here

Every Wednesday at noon we will provide the latest Ottawa County vaccine and response updates at Facebook.com/miOttawaHealth and YouTube.com/miOttawa


Click to watch the briefing.

BONUS: Hear from OCDPH Health Officer Lisa Stefanovsky and Medical Director Dr. Heidel who provided additional information about Ottawa County's COVID-19 vaccine planning and distribution. Their presentation at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting starts here


Recent Questions & Answers

Does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contain aborted fetal tissue?

No: The vaccine formula does not contain aborted fetal tissue. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine development used fetal cell lines, which were obtained during two elective abortions in the 1960s. The fetal cells are not injected into a patient, but rather are used in a lab setting to create the virus itself. Using fetal cell lines is not a new science and is used in other vaccines such as Hepatitis A, rubella and rabies.

Once the vaccine viruses are grown in these cells, the next step in the manufacturing process is to purify the vaccine viruses away from the cells and substances used to help cells grow. The cell lines used do not end up in the final vaccine product but rather serve as incubators to create biological material to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 symptoms. 

Why are fetal cells used to make some vaccines?
Viruses reproduce in cells, so to grow viruses for a vaccine, one of the necessary tools is a type of cell in which the virus will grow. Viruses will not grow in just any cell type, so one of the first things a scientist needs to do is to figure out what cells the virus will infect in the lab. Because viruses infect people, human cells are a good place to start checking.

How can cells from the 1960s still be used today?
Cells grown in a laboratory setting are provided with an environment conducive to growth. As the cells reproduce and fill the container in which they are grown, researchers care for them by putting them in new containers and giving them additional nutrients to enable continued growth. As a result, the cells can replicate exponentially.

Periodically, a portion of the cells will be frozen in liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. The extremely cold temperatures of liquid nitrogen freezers, around -200° C, cause the biological activity to cease without killing the cells. Decades later, the cells, if thawed and provided with the appropriate nutrients and environment, will begin to grow again. As the cells grow, the newly produced cells can also be frozen, and the process extended again.

Do more abortions need to be done?
No: Because the cells isolated in the 1960s have been cared for as described above, vaccine manufacturers do not need to seek new cell sources.

READ MORE - Information about fetal cells and vaccines: Common questions answered

Click for more information about the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

Do I have to wear a mask if I've been vaccinated?

Yes, in these situations:

You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:

Scientists are still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.


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Will vaccines be available in Michigan to all groups sooner than originally anticipated?

President Biden Announced All Americans to be Eligible for Vaccinations by May 1

Yes: In the next phase of the White House's vaccination effort, the President directed states, Tribes and territories to make all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine no later than May 1, 2021. The White House COVID-19 Response Team concluded the accelerated vaccination efforts will enable prioritized vaccinations to be far enough along by end of April, and that all eligibility restrictions for vaccinations can be lifted by May 1.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance on March 12, 2021. The anticipated implementation schedule for moving through the CDC Phases is illustrated below. This schedule is provisional and will change over time, depending on vaccine availability.


state timeline

Click to enlarge the graphic and to learn more.

How do I schedule a vaccine appointment?

For those who live or work in Ottawa County, MI or live in zip code 49423, please fill out this form if you have not already. This sign-up is for notification purposes only and does NOT schedule you for a vaccine appointment. When appointments become available you will be notified by email and/or text and invited to schedule your appointment.

Other agencies also offering vaccine appointments are posted at VaccinateWestMI.com/register. Vaccine supply is very limited. Appointments may be weeks or months away depending on the current phases, clinic location, overall supplies and capacity. We appreciate your patience as we prepare for these upcoming vaccination phases. Be assured we are vaccinating as quickly as we can and are sharing information as we have it.

What can I expect at a vaccination appointment?

A part of public health's work is setting up mass vaccination clinics. This work is well established and operates efficiently to offer a streamlined process for people to get vaccinated. As vaccines supplies increase and more appointments become available, the OCDPH will continue to establish vaccination clinics throughout Ottawa County. Continued partnerships with the National Guard, health care systems, pharmacies, schools, employers and faith-based organizations enables greater accessibility to all community members. 

Watch a video tour of the Holland Civic Center Clinic



Glorie Orozco explains the vaccination clinic process. Video production courtesy of the City of Holland.

I received a text message from the State of Michigan. Is this valid?

Yes: If you received a 2nd dose reminder text message from the state, please disregard if you already scheduled your appointment or call 616-396-5266 for more information. This is an automated message generated by the Michigan vaccine registry system.


Will you get vaccinated when it's your turn? Why?

Hear stories from people in our community who've been vaccinated or plan to get the vaccine when it's available to them. To be featured in an Ottawa County bulletin or Facebook post, please send your quote, photo and/or video to kwieghmink@miottawa.org

The Bowlings share their clinic experience and why they chose to get vaccinated.



Oscar Moreno - Executive Chef at MeXo Restaurant “As a restaurant worker, it is essential we get vaccinated. We are frontline workers too, and it is very important as we open for more capacity. We are more exposed to COVID-19, so I invite all restaurants workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect our families, coworkers and customers.”

Escuche a los líderes confiables de la comunidad Latinx sobre sus experiencias durante la pandemia y por qué es tan importante recibir la vacuna COVID-19.

(Hear from trusted leaders in the Latinx community about their experiences during the pandemic and why getting the COVID-19 vaccine is so important.)


Haga clic en la imagen para verla. Click the image to watch.

- Edwin Villanueva-Carmona, Juvenile Court Officer, Ottawa County
- Esther Fifelski, Human/International Relations Manager, City of Holland
- Lupita Reyes, Social Worker and Founder of LAR Counseling Services in Holland
- Oficial Mendoza, Holland Police Department
- Clara Mascorro, Certified Counselor with Arbor Circle in Holland


Muriel and Don Cecconi. Image courtesy of Spectrum Health.

‘I was delighted’

Residents of independent living facilities in Ottawa County receive COVID-19 vaccines at on-site clinics.

Thanks to a collaborative effort, the Cecconis received the vaccines close to home—at The Village at Appledorn, their independent senior living community. The clinic, which vaccinated more than 60 residents, is one of many hosted in Ottawa County through a partnership formed by the independent living communities, area health systems and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

“Independent living facilities were not a part of the federal pharmacy COVID-19 vaccine effort to long-term care facilities,” said Marcia Mansaray, deputy health officer of Ottawa County. Through the partnership, she said, “We share vaccines and work on a schedule together to make sure we quickly reach these older adults.”

Spectrum Health has vaccinated 275 people at clinics at four senior living facilities: Royal Park Place in Zeeland and McIntosh Manor and two Appledorn locations in Holland.



Thinking about traveling for Spring Break? 

What you need to know

Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated.

If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others:

  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Before you travel, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Travel Requirements

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.


More COVID-19 Vaccine Information Resources

Currently EligibleVaccinateWestMi.com FAQs I Deaf & Hard of Hearing FAQ Videos
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 a total of 4,240 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

Total Ottawa County To-date:

  • Received: 53,630 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed to Ottawa County health care systems and the health department as of March 7, 2021. 

  • Administered: 91,909 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of March 11, 2021.

  • Coverage: Nearly 30% of all Ottawa County residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 67% of Ottawa County residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose. 

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 Pfizer 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

data hub

Click to view Ottawa County vaccine data.


Community and clinical experts will talk about efforts to better connect with new immigrants and migrant workers. In a diverse multilingual population, communicating effectively with these communities can make the difference in informing, engaging, vaccinating and caring for new immigrants and migrant workers.

Jennifer Pascua, moderator, lead communications specialist, Spectrum Health
Jim Hilbrand, PA-C, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Family Medicine-Grant
Audra Fuentes, Office of Migrant Affairs, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Eva Alexander, executive director, Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates
Diana Hanna, housing and family services director, True North Community Services

This event and previous ones can also be viewed on Facebook at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and Spectrum Health Lakeland.

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.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan

  • MI Distributed: 3,421,585 doses
  • Administered Statewide: 2,921,636
  • Coverage: 23% of all Michigan residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 58% of Michigan residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose. 

    More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.


MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I StrategyDistribution Guidance I MI Vaccine Locations

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

cdc data

Click to view more data.


As our nation works to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, one of the most pressing challenges is ensuring that the response—from vaccinations to testing to wraparound support—is equitable.

On March 23 from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST, COVID Collaborative is hosting a Fireside Chat with Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the Chair of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force on this critical topic. 



Read the Latest COVID-19 Research

Body Mass Index and Risk for COVID-19-Related Hospitalization, Intensive Care Unit Admission, Invasive Mechanical Ventilation, and Death - United States, March-December 2020

COVID-19 Outbreak Among Attendees of an Exercise Facility - Chicago, Illinois, August-September 2020

Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at Three Fitness Facilities - Hawaii, June-July 2020

Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020

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