Weather temporarily shuts down vaccination clinics

COVID-19 Vaccine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Slippery roads early on Friday morning canceled second dose vaccination appointments with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

“We want to make sure people are comfortable and travel safely during this time,” said Ottawa County Health Department Public Information Officer Kristina Wieghmink.

The 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. appointments were rescheduled for the following Wednesday at the same time. Afternoon appointments were not canceled.

“People’s health and safety are a top priority, and we will make accommodations to make sure that people get their second dose,” Wieghmink said.

The Ottawa County clinic wasn’t the only weather-related vaccination cancellation.

Spectrum Health also shut down four clinics for the day.

But for the Kent County Health Department, it was business as usual at their clinics.

Still, safety remained a concern.

“If people aren’t able to make it to their appointment today, we will call them next week to reschedule. So, we don’t want people to worry if they can’t make it today,” said Melissa Bisel, Kent County Health Department public health nurse.

This is Michigan. So, winter weather was bound to impact the all-important vaccination effort at some point.

Health departments and other agencies distributing the vaccine drew up contingency plans early on.

“We have to have those plans in place to be able to pivot because of Michigan weather,” Wieghmink said.

Top of the priority list is safety.

If the weather’s bad and you don’t feel safe driving to a clinic on appointment day, they’ll save a dose for you. 

“We want people to know if they have a scheduled appointment, that we want them to feel safe, and they are able to reschedule,” Bisel said.

“For any reason, if they are concerned about the weather and need to reschedule, we do ask that they call us to reschedule,” Wieghmink said.

And no need to worry about the supply — it will keep.

“Vaccines are stored at the recommended temperature, and they don’t come out of that freezer until they’re ready to be used,” Wieghmink said. “So, no vaccines are going to waste.”

More vaccination information can be found online.

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