Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update - March 21, 2021

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March 21, 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. You may also sign up to receive information about other news topics from Ottawa County Parks, Sheriff’s Office and more.

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Ottawa County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The last vaccine video update at Facebook and YouTube
(Please excuse the audio/visual technical issues.) Following the briefing is an interview with Shannon Felgner, Ottawa County communications manager, who shares more about the importance of government communications during the COVID-19 pandemic and other opportunities to connect with our community. The interview starts here


Click to watch the briefing.

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

Wednesday, March 24 Discussion: Hear from several more of the OCDPH experts who will talk about the county's vaccination strategies and progress being made in the vaccination efforts. Everyone is welcomed to view and ask questions.

Items to be addressed include:

  • Where are we in getting to herd immunity in West MI?
  • What has to happen to get there?
  • Are we seeing a decrease in cases among those who've been vaccinated?
  • What has the vaccine outreach process looked like so far?
  • What has been done to reach non-English speakers, the older adult population and other minority groups to increase access to vaccination?
  • How are vaccine data being gathered and used?
  • Are there stand-by lists for any leftover vaccines at the end of a day?
  • Are mobile vaccine clinics being planned to reach specific locations and populations throughout the county? What about at employers?
  • How can we help?


Recent Questions & Answers


If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes: You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 since experts are still researching how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.


Will the COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?


No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Currently, two types of COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in the United States--messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and viral vector vaccines.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work. ​

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells to start building protection. The instructions are delivered in the form of genetic material. This material does not integrate into a person’s DNA. These instructions tell the cell to produce a harmless piece of virus that causes COVID-19. This is a spike protein and is only found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. This triggers our immune system to recognize the virus that causes COVID-19 and to begin producing antibodies and activating other immune cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection. Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.

What is the difference between the types of COVID-19 vaccines?

The available COVID-19 vaccines may work in slightly different ways, but all types of the vaccine will help protect you. The vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in reducing the risk of severe illness, hospitalizations and death as caused by the virus. View the chart below for information on each authorized vaccine.

Click to enlarge the graphic and share:



mRNA Infographic


Viral Vector Infographic


Have you been vaccinated or will you 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, Facebook post or YouTube channel please send your quote, photo and/or video to kwieghmink@miottawa.org


Click to watch and hear why Rob got vaccinated.

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.

OCDPH last received a total of 5,110 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

Total Ottawa County To-date:

  • Received: 59,340 first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed to Ottawa County health care systems and the health department as of March 15, 2021. 

  • Administered: 103,580 first and second doses have been administered to Ottawa County residents as of March 18, 2021.

  • Coverage: 28.7% of all Ottawa County residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 69.6% 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

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Please keep in mind, even with MDHHS opening up the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to more people, the OCDPH is still very limited on available appointments because of not receiving enough vaccine. Be assured, we are working as quickly as possible to get people vaccinated as soon as we receive vaccine supply.

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.

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

Ottawa County COVID-19 Data Hub

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Click to view Ottawa County vaccine data.


Virtual Program to Explore Vaccine Skepticism in the Hispanic/Latinx Community with Medical and Community Representatives

The Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony will host the third in its series of virtual programs on racial and ethnic disparities in health care, “Exploring Vaccine Skepticism in the Hispanic/Latinx Community,” on Sunday, April 11.  The free event will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome.

To register, go to the ACEH website www.harmonyalliance.org

Panelists include Derel Glashower, senior epidemiologist; health care and medical professionals; an immigration attorney; and a pastoral care minister.  Yadah V. Ramirez, programs director at Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP), will moderate the discussion. The Holland Museum will record the program and post it to its YouTube channel the following week.

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in Michigan

  • MI Distributed: 3,857,335 doses
  • Administered Statewide: 3,412,372
  • Coverage: 27% of all Michigan residents have had at least their first vaccine dose, and 62.5% of Michigan residents who are 65 years of age and older have had at least their first vaccine dose as of March 18, 2021. 

    More Vaccine Data from MDHHS here.

MDHHS Update on the COVID-19 Vaccinations and Variants,  Additional Testing  and Reengagements 

Testing increased for high school athletics, stadiums to 20% capacity  

Friday, March 19 -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided an update regarding COVID-19 vaccines and variants and announced new steps for high school athletes to safely compete and increased capacity at outdoor stadiums.  

The Governor praised progress on vaccinations and urged Michiganders to keep doing their part by wearing masks, washing their hands, social distancing, and getting vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. All Michiganders ages 16 and up will be eligible to get the safe COVID vaccine on April 5th. The Governor also urged the Legislature to fully allocate billions in federal dollars sent to Michigan last December and more recently by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Both Dr. Khaldun and the Governor reiterated that while we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, we are still in the tunnel, and the only out is forward and together.  

Click to view the PowerPoint presentation that the governor used during the press conference. WATCH HERE

MDHHS Expands Capacity at Outdoor Stadiums and Arenas
and Increases Testing to Protect Youth in Sports 

Fully vaccinated individuals may gather at residences without masks per CDC 

Friday, March 19 -- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order, allowing up to 20% capacity in outdoor stadiums and arenas that establish infection control plans. The update also increases testing for youth ages 13-19 to ensure athletes can safely participate in sports. The changes are designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders’ lives. Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we take steps to get back to normal. The changes to the Order go into effect Monday, March 22, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.    



March 22 Gatherings Order Infographic  

Dining Seating Guide

Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance

Key Metrics Infographic    


Click to enlarge the graphic.

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Click the image for more information.

MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I StrategyDistribution Guidance I MI Vaccine Locations I FAQs

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COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

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Click to view more data.


Read the Latest COVID-19 Research


Operating schools during COVID-19: CDC's Considerations: Operating Schools During COVID-19. Updated Mar. 19, 2021


Science Brief: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 schools https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/transmission_k_12_schools.html

Pilot Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Transmission in Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools Implementing Mitigation Strategies — St. Louis County and City of Springfield, Missouri, December 2020


COVID-19 in Primary and Secondary School Settings During the First Semester of School Reopening — Florida, August–December 2020


Low SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Elementary Schools — Salt Lake County, Utah, December 3, 2020–January 31, 2021


COVID-19 Vaccine Second-Dose Completion and Interval Between First and Second Doses Among Vaccinated Persons — United States, December 14, 2020−February 14, 2021


Effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Among Residents of Two Skilled Nursing Facilities Experiencing COVID-19 Outbreaks — Connecticut, December 2020–February 2021


Vaccine Administration: Intramuscular (IM) Injection Adults 19 Years of Age and Older

v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry

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