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Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital rolling out vaccination strategy for vulnerable and underserved

Mercy Health

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital rolling out vaccination strategy for West Michigan’s vulnerable and underserved populations

“Whatever vaccine comes in goes into arms that week.”

Dr. Andrew Jameson is Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Mercy Health.

“Particularly with some of the news that the variants have been found in Grand Rapids and in many counties throughout Michigan now, I think we’re up to over 10 counties having identified the variant, we really feel like the vaccines are a race against those variants."

Mercy Health says its distributed nearly 22,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and has a limited supply of about 1,500 Moderna doses on-hand.

The Kent County Health Department has designated Mercy Health distribute vaccines to first responders, law enforcement and area teachers. It’s also prioritizing patients including seniors and underserved populations. So far, 3% of its African American and 3% of its Latinx patients have received vaccinations.

“We’re going to try to meet people where they’re at. So that as they see their doctor, as they get to a situation in an environment that they trust, they can then schedule an appointment for a vaccine and it may be actually at that time.”

“We partner with some of the local organizations as well like the Grand Rapids African American Health Initiative, Hispanic Center.”

Dr. Karen Kennedy is Regional Medical Director Mercy Health Physician Partners.

“We plan on having a pop-up clinic this weekend at the Browning Claytor Health Center. It will be appointment only. It’s not walk-in. Doing appropriate screenings. And at Clinica (Santa Mara) we hope to have a pop-up clinic soon, too.”

Focusing on hard-hit zip codes and making underserved patients feel more at home.