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Kent Co. Health Dept. addresses declining vaccination rates with new campaign


While Kent County has higher vaccination rates compared to most of the state, KCHD Immunizations Supervisor, Amy Shears, said a continued local decline may allow diseases that were once considered eradicated to reemerge.

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is launching a public awareness campaign to address falling vaccination rates across the country.

Kent County Health Department officials say over the past two years, the pandemic has worsened an already concerning drop-off in childhood vaccination rates.

“While Kent County has higher rates compared to most of the state, a continued decline may allow diseases that were once considered eradicated to reemerge,” Amy Shears, Immunizations Supervisor at KCHD, said.

The department contracted with the Grand Rapids-based firm Well Design Studio to create the campaign, which is centered around the theme “The Future is Ours.” KCHD received a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to fund the project.

The campaign also brought updates to the VaccinateWestMi.com. The website was originally built to support the COVID-19 vaccine but now features information on a variety of vaccines, including age-appropriate vaccination timelines as well as links that allow parents to make vaccine appointments for their children. The site also helps users find a local health department clinic.

“The last couple of years has been a tough time for everyone,” said Dr. Adam London, KCHD Director. “It is easy to see how parents could have fallen behind on routine vaccinations. We get that but now is a great time to get up to date and we are here to help.”

Information in the campaign, will be inclusive to English and Spanish speakers. It’s expected to launch between now and early fall.

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