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Over 21% of Kent County 12-to-15-year-olds have received first COVID-19 shot

Just under 7,500 people in the age group have gotten the first of two doses.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been available to kids ages 12 to 15 for less than three weeks, and over 18% of the age group in Michigan has already received their first dose.

In Kent County, more than 21% of kids ages 12-15 have received a shot.

"I think it's really exciting. It's encouraging to see that our younger age group is getting into vaccination locations," said Dr. Nirali Bora, medical director for the Kent County Health Department. 

Bora says having the vaccine in a multitude of places is likely helping, and many locations are offering the vaccine on a walk-in basis. 

"It really has made it really easy for people to get vaccinated, and we're seeing with this new approval for 12 years and older, whole families are coming in to get vaccinated," said Amy Ellis, manager of pharmacy services for SpartanNash.

SpartanNash stores are offering vaccines at all of its retail locations (D&W, Forest Hills Foods and Family Fare) on a walk-in or schedule basis.  

"We have multiple vaccines in every location," Ellis said. 

Schedule here. 

Bora said it's crucial for young people to continue to get vaccinated throughout the summer before going to indoor events like sleepovers. Ideally, she says most young people will be vaccinated by the time school starts back up in the fall. 

"We still see people in the ICU, there are still people who are on a ventilator, who cannot breathe on their own, who are young— from a disease that's entirely preventable right now," Bora said. 

"So, let's take advantage of this amazing technology that we have to really protect ourselves, to protect the people around us."

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