A donation from the the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) will help the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) bring the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved areas.
In October, the Gun Lake Tribe announced it would be donating the remains of its federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds to Allegan County schools and to the health department for a mobile vaccine unit.
The mobile vaccine clinic was revealed at a Wednesday donation ceremony at the Gun Lake Tribe government campus.
"It was a no brainer for us, we've always prided ourselves on being a good neighbor to the surrounding community," said Bob Peters, Tribal Chairman for the Gun Lake Tribe.
The Tribal Council allocated $500,000 between eleven local schools and $225,000 went toward the purchase of the mobile vaccine unit.
The mobile unit is equipped with two exam rooms, a lab with a medical refrigerator, a waiting area and a restroom.
"It makes it so much easier and so much more convenient for those individuals that choose to be vaccinated," Peters said.
ACHD Health Officer Angelique Joynes said the clinic adds to the county's strategies for getting people vaccinated who cannot access the large-scale clinics.
"Looking at our data, looking at where we might have low vaccine COVID vaccine coverage rates, and kind of determining in that community, that zip code, where's a place that people trust? What's a location and entity that people trust or congregate at? And then going there and providing vaccines right in the community that needs it," Joynes said.
So far, 29,692 people have been vaccinated in Allegan County. The county has six clinics occurring this week with over 4,000 shots (between both first and second doses).
ACHD is giving 75% of the vaccine doses to those in the 50 and older group and 25% to the other eligible groups. Joynes said previously there had been a weeks-long wait between the time people registered and then got scheduled, but currently wait times are about 72 hours.
There are no specific plans yet on when the mobile clinic will be used.
If you have registered and are eligible for vaccine, email email@example.com with the subject line "I'm eligible and need vaccine."
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