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With vaccine supply still tight, Grand Rapids clinic plans for up to 20,000 vaccinations a day

person receives COVID vaccine shot
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Health organizations in Grand Rapids are setting up a vaccine clinic that they hope will eventually be able to vaccinate 20,000 people per day. The clinic will be at the DeVos Place convention center in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health are working together to create the clinic.

“We’ll start small, mainly based on vaccine availability,” says Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan. “But we hope to increase capacity significantly as we receive more vaccine shipments in the coming days and weeks.”

The clinic is expected to open on Monday, and organizers are planning to administer more than 7,000 doses there in the first week. 

Vaccinations are available by appointment only. Essential workers and anyone over the age of 65 is eligible to sign up. You do not need to be a Kent County resident to get an appointment. Those who want to sign up can do so at wmvaccineclinic.org.

By collaboration across multiple organizations, health leaders say they’ll be able to administer more vaccines as more doses become available.

“Staffing is one of the things that we need to manage very well,” says Dr. Hyung Kim, President of Mercy Health St. Mary’s. “And so our working together means that if for some reason on a given day there’s a certain type of staff at a level that one organization cannot provide, that the others will be able to step in.”

Kent County Health Officer Adam London said the cost of running the new clinic will be “significant,” though he didn’t say how much it would cost. He says Kent County is leasing the space at Devos Place to host the clinic, and costs are being shared across all three organizations. 

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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