GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The pace is picking up at the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.
The West Michigan Vaccine Clinic administered its 100,000th shot Thursday. It went to Adiane Ramos-Estrada.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Ramos-Estrada said. “I want to do my part in any way that I can. If it’s something small or big, I want to do my part.”
Organizers say they think they may be vaccinating more people than any other single location in the country: some 42,000 shots will be given at DeVos Place this week alone.
“We are very, very excited about what this represents to our community,” Brian Brasser, the chief operation officer for Spectrum Health Grand Rapids, said.
The West Michigan Vaccine Clinic has said that if it had enough doses, it could administer 20,000 shots in a day. The closest it has gotten so far is a little more than 12,500, which it clocked Monday. That was a state record and possibly even a national record, according to executives with Spectrum Health, which is leading the coalition of providers running the clinic. Another record day is anticipated this coming Monday.
This as Michigan’s COVID-19 case numbers are spiking.
“It’s a bit scary what we are seeing in the community,” Brasser said. “Our positivity is high and sustaining.”
Currently, 170 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized within Spectrum. The average age of the patients has dropped to 50, which Spectrum says shows the vaccine is working, as more older people have gotten their shots than younger groups. The bad news is that patients in their 20s and 30s are being hospitalized with breathing problems.
Everyone age 16 and up is now eligible to get a shot at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic. To help facilitate the increasing volume, the clinic is seeking thousands more volunteers.
“We’ve got vaccines, we’ve got the space, but we’re real short on the labor,” Patrick Burke, a retiree who’s currently volunteering, told News 8 Wednesday.
You can register to get your shot at the DeVos Place clinic at SpectrumHealth.org/wmvaccineclinic. You must have an appointment; the clinic is not taking walk-ins.
While there is free parking available underneath DeVos Place and across Monroe Avenue at the government ramp, you can also park across the river at either of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum parking lots and take a free Rapid shuttle to the clinic.
“We are very excited to work with all the incredible partners that are making this effort possible,” The Rapid CEO Deb Prato said in a Thursday statement. “It is critical that the entire community works together on vaccination efforts, and we are committed to doing our part at The Rapid.”
The Rapid said additional options to vaccine clinics were forthcoming; more information should be released soon.
So far, more than 4.4 million shots have been administered in Michigan. About 2.8 million people have gotten at least one. The goal is to fully vaccinate at least 70% of the state’s population over the age of 16. That’s about 5.6 million people.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has set a new goal for Michigan clinics to give 100,000 shots every day. Last week, they averaged more than about 70,000 shots per day.
*Correction: A previous version of this article stated 50,000 doses had been administered at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic this week. That should have indicated 42,000 doses would be administered throughout the week. We regret the error, which has been corrected.
—News 8’s Heather Walker contributed to this report.