GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — New signage outside DeVos Place Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids now directs people inside to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccinations at DeVos Place, which has been turned in to a countywide clinic, began around 2 p.m. Monday.
Among the nearly 500 people who got their shot was Lois Doss. She said she got vaccinated to honor her son, Isaac, who died at the age of 35 after contracting COVID-19 in Arizona.
“I would do anything if I could go back and hug my son one more time,” she said, adding that the vaccine will help her protect her surviving children. “I want to be able to be safe.”
Other recipients were parents whose children had urged them to get the shot, including Rose Duemler and Bob Carlson.
“My boy, he wants me to live a lot longer,” Carlson, 90, said.
Spectrum Health, which is partnering with the Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health and other Vaccinate West Michigan participants to run the, expects to administer as many as 20,000 doses per day once the clinic is eventually running at full capacity.
But for now, appointments are still hard to come by. Only about 8,000 doses have been directed to the clinic this week.
Hospitals, public health officials and state leaders have urged patience while they work to get shots to everyone who wants one. They have blamed the slower-than-desired rollout on a lack of doses coming into Michigan from the federal government.
“We’re starting small. We’re constrained by the overall shortage (of doses),” Spectrum Health Chief Operating Office Brian Brasser said Monday. “Today is about learning. Today is about starting this process.”
New President Joe Biden has vowed to see 100 million shots administered in his first 100 days in office.
You must have an appointment to get vaccinated at DeVos Place; do not simply show up without one.
Parking is available in the ramp under the convention center. Those receiving a shot will get two hours of free parking.
Children are allowed inside with their parents. Social distancing is in effect and masks are required. After the injection, recipients will wait 15 minutes in an on-site observation area to make sure they don’t have an adverse reaction.