Bi-Weekly Ottawa County COVID-19 Update - November 11, 2021

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November 11, 2021

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PH updates

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for Children Ages 5-11


On November 2, the CDC authorized emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old. Clinics are being held in Ottawa County and approximately 550 kids have already received their first dose of the vaccine. The August 20 Order requiring face masks in educational settings will expire on January 2, 2022 at 5:00 pm. OCDPH is encouraging parents to obtain their child’s first dose of the vaccine before November 29, which will allow kids to receive their second dose and be fully vaccinated before the Order expires. Vaccine clinics and appointments can be found at Vaccinate West Michigan or by calling your healthcare provider or pharmacy. Please register for only one appointment for each child and nothing additional on other clinic dates or times. We do not anticipate any vaccine supply issues and we will make sure your child receives their COVID-19 vaccine at your scheduled appointment.

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What is the difference between a vaccination, immunization, and an inoculation and how does the difference apply to COVID-19 vaccines?

The terms immunization, vaccination, and inoculation are often used interchangeably, but the terms have different meanings. It is important to use the terms correctly to prevent misunderstandings. LEARN MORE

Vaccination: uses vaccines to teach the body's own immune system how to protect a person against an infection or disease if they are exposed to it in the future.

Immunization: is the process of a person becoming immune or resistant to an infection or disease, typically by being given a vaccine. 

Inoculate: to give a small dose of a disease-causing substance (germ or part of a germ) to a person or animal to try to produce immunity. 

The term inoculate does NOT apply to the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19  vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot and will not give you COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines contains mRNA material to teach our cells to make proteins called antibodies to help protect us from getting infected with COVID-19. 

  • You may experience temporary discomfort after your vaccination but that is normal and expected because it is the natural part of the process that occurs when your body builds antibodies (proteins that are part of the immune process). 
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material is located), so it cannot change or influence genes. 

Get Vaccinated and Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely

There is still time for individuals to be fully vaccinated before Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, providing the best protection against COVID-19 for family and friends who gather at the holidays. By following the recipe below, you can have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving! 

Thanksgiving safety tips

county updates

Ottawa County Data Hub

Ottawa County publishes recent COVID-19 data relating to community transmission, counts, descriptive statistics and test positivity. The data hub is updated every weekday from Monday - Friday by 3:00 pm. View Data Hub

Weekly COVID-19 Data Reports can be found on our COVID page. Click here to view the latest report. 

Ottawa County Case Rates

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As of November 11, 132 new cases of COVID-19 were reported each day on average over the last 7 days, down from the 184 daily reported cases over the previous 7 day period.  Despite the signs of plateauing, case counts and incidence rates remain high at this time. Because these reports do not include results in people only tested with at-home test kits, the true case counts may be underreported.

Variants in Ottawa County 

Since February 25, 2021, several variants of concern have been reported in Ottawa County with the Delta variant making up the majority (62%) of all variant cases identified in Ottawa County since February 2021. The Alpha variant which characterized the surge in cases last spring makes up 36%, and the Epsilon and Gamma variants make up less than 2% each of the total variant cases reported in Ottawa County (percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding). More recent local data on variants show the Delta variant is still the most predominant variant strain in Ottawa County, making up 100% of all variant cases reported since July. Similar data at the state and national levels indicate the Delta variant is still the most predominant strain at this time. 

Please note that whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the SARS-CoV-2 is not widely available like diagnostic tests, therefore only a subset of specimens from COVID-19 cases are further sequenced for variants. Due to the high prevalence of the delta variant in Michigan, almost every incident infection can now be considered to be a Delta variant infection. 

In addition to WGS of clinical cases, results from wastewater sampling over the last month consistently detected the Delta variant in wastewater samples collected from several sites in the county. The most frequently detected variant continues to be Delta, further confirming the prevalence of the more transmissible and potentially severe variant in Ottawa County. 

Anyone who is eligible should get vaccinated. Non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies such as distancing, hand-washing, ventilation, and proper and consistent masking are still effective in preventing disease transmission.

COVID-19 Vaccinations in Ottawa County

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Coverage: 60.2% of all Ottawa County residents aged 5 years or older have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of November 11, 2021. More vaccine data from MDHHS can be found here

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Coverage: 58.9% of all Michigan residents aged 5 years or older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of November 11, 2021. More vaccine data from MDHHS can be found here.

Progress is based on the CDC data tracker, which includes Michigan residents vaccinated by providers not currently reporting to the state dashboard below: Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, and most out-of-state providers. Data provided in the Michigan COVID-19 Dashboard slightly undercounts the true number of doses administered to Michigan residents. LEARN MORE

COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

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Questions & Answers

I already had COVID-19 - why do I still need the vaccine?

Scientists are still researching how long immunity from COVID-19 infection might last. With the rise of the Delta variant in the United States, if you have been infected with COVID-19 before, there is a chance of contracting COVID-19 or its variants again, especially if you are unvaccinated. Those who have been infected with COVID-19 and have recovered are still encouraged to get vaccinated. Vaccination provides the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants.

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Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?

Yes. Keeping children safe and healthy is the top priority for OCDPH, parents and scientists. The vaccine is safe for children ages 5-17. Before being authorized for children, scientists and medical experts completed their review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested and reviewed. There will be ongoing monitoring among people who are vaccinated to ensure safety. LEARN MORE

Will children experience any side effects from the vaccine? What about myocarditis?

Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are typically rare, mild and last for one to two days. After vaccination your child may experience soreness in the arm, fatigue, headaches, or a slight fever. The risk of a child having a serious adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is very low. The risk of developing myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) after COVID-19 infection is much higher than the risk of developing myocarditis after the vaccine. LEARN MORE


Where to Find COVID-19 Vaccines

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The OCDPH is listing all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics on the website. Click on the calendar to find scheduling and walk-in opportunities in Ottawa County and the surrounding area.

  • The Pfizer two-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 5 years or older.
  • The Moderna two-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 18 years or older.
  • The Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine is available for individuals aged 18 years or older.
  • Proof of date of birth is required (driver’s license, state ID or birth certificate). Parental consent is required for minors. Find more details and requirements on each clinic's page.
  • Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.
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The Macatawa Area Express (MAX) and Allegan County Transportation are offering free rides for residents to vaccination appointments. To schedule a trip, call MAX at 616-355-1010. LEARN MORE - Kent County Vaccine Transportation Access Information HERE.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing

Need Testing? No-Cost Community Sites. Rapid antigen testing for anyone with or without symptoms (parental consent required for minors). Samples are taken by nasal swab. Results within 15-30 min. No appointment needed • No doctor’s order needed • No insurance needed • No Fee • Please bring a form of ID • No pets allowed • Wear a face covering. Find locations, dates and times at

MDHHS Resources

Vaccine Information I MI Vaccine Locations I FAQs

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Read the Latest NIH Research.

More COVID-19 Vaccine Information Resources FAQs I Deaf & Hard of Hearing FAQ Videos
CDC COVID-19 FAQs Flyer I CDC FAQ Website

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Click to learn more from the CDC's COVID-19 Webinars and Partner Calls Videos

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) sent this weekly 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. See the end of this email to make any changes to your subscription preferences.