GRAND RAPIDS — In response to the State of Michigan expanding eligibility for vaccination, Spectrum Health Monday began vaccinating adults age 65 and over, and certain Phase 1B individuals such as teachers and childcare workers, it announced in a press release.

Spectrum Health will launch vaccination clinics this week by appointment only in Grand Rapids, Greenville, Hastings and Zeeland with additional locations opening as more vaccine becomes available.

“The vaccine is a significant step forward in moving beyond the pandemic and ending the suffering and death so many have experienced because of COVID-19,” stated Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan, in a press release. “We are honored to be helping to distribute the vaccine in collaboration with area health departments and community partners. We are seeing overwhelming demand for the vaccine and ask for the community’s patience as we work as quickly as possible to schedule appointments and set up additional clinics.

"We understand that the vaccine represents hope for better days ahead, and a sense of normalcy for our lives and the economy.”

Spectrum Health is working with community partners and area health departments to plan additional vaccine sites across the region in the coming weeks — including clinics for under-represented communities — in an effort to make the vaccine as accessible as possible for all individuals, according to the release.

This week, Spectrum Health will provide a total of more than 21,000 vaccinations to the public as well as to individuals in Phase 1A that the health system has been asked to vaccinate, including independent doctors, dentists and their staff. The vaccine distribution is dependent on vaccine supply, which varies from week-to-week. Scheduling will take place as Spectrum Health receives vaccine doses.

To find out more about scheduling a vaccination, go to www.spectrumhealth.org/vaccine. Community members are also encouraged to download the Spectrum Health app and sign up for a MyChart account, which is a key step in the scheduling process for a vaccination appointment.

Per the State of Michigan, essential workers, including teachers and others, should work through their employers to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.

This story has been corrected based on a retraction from Spectrum Health.

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