KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MI (WKZO AM/FM) – Monday, the Kalamazoo County Health Department announced that it is expanding vaccination clinics being held at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center to three days a week starting April 20.

  “Expanding vaccination clinics at the Expo Center allows us to serve more people,” County Health Officer Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “As we are seeing cases rise across the state and in Kalamazoo County, it is in our best interest to vaccinate as many people as we can, as quickly as we can. By combining our resources, we are able to accomplish that.”

  Under state law, all Michigan residents age 16 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department along with healthcare system partners, Ascension Borgess Hospital, Bronson Healthcare, Family Health Center, and WMed Health have partnered together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response. Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine remains the focus of the joint vaccination strategy in Kalamazoo County.

  All organizations continue to collaborate to ensure vaccinations are provided in a variety ways to residents and will focus vaccination efforts in the following ways:

  Ascension Borgess Hospital,?Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department?and?WMed Health –?

  Both will combine efforts to expand mass vaccination clinics held at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center. People 16 years and older may schedule a vaccination appointment online through the county’s self-scheduling system.

  Appointments are released on Mondays at 7 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. at www.kalcounty.com/ covid19vaccine. New appointments may be added after Monday and throughout the week as residents may cancel existing appointments.

  Residents with limited internet access are encouraged to call the COVID-19 Call Center at 269-373-5200 for assistance in scheduling appointments. Residents should note that those under the age of 18 may only schedule a Pfizer vaccine appointment. A parent or guardian must also accompany minors at the vaccination clinic.

  Bronson Healthcare –?

  Bronson will continue to register people 16 and older through its MyChart online system at mychart.bronsonhealth.com. Those unable to use MyChart can call Bronson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at (269) 220-3970.

  Once on the registry, Bronson will notify individuals when it is their turn to schedule a vaccine appointment based on prioritization criteria. For further details,? visit bronsonhealth.com/ covid19vaccine.

  Family Health Center (FHC) –?

  Family Health Center continues to ensure access to vaccines for Kalamazoo County residents focusing on equitable and inclusive services. Community outreach clinics will continue in specific geographic locations including churches, homeless shelters, shared housing and schools.

  Through an ongoing partnership, Family Health Center and Bronson Healthcare will combine efforts to bring large-scale drive-through vaccination clinics to various neighborhoods of Kalamazoo.

  For people looking to register for a community clinic, call the FHC COVID-19 Hotline at 269-488-0804.

  Select Local Pharmacies –?

  Some local pharmacies also have opportunities to schedule a vaccine appointment with them. People are encouraged to check with their local pharmacies and join their waitlist. Readers can find more information at www.vaccinefinder.org.

  “In Kalamazoo County we are fortunate to have great healthcare systems and strong partnerships,” Rutherford added. “Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely together to collaborate in ways that best serve our residents. This announcement demonstrates how we continue to streamline vaccination efforts in Kalamazoo County so we are efficient and most importantly, equitable.”

  To date, 161,525 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Kalamazoo County residents, according to data provided by the county officials.

  This represents about 46% of residents over the age of 16 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to date, and over 29% have completed the vaccination series.

  COVID-19 positive cases continue to rise for the state and Kalamazoo County. Health Officials continue to strongly urge residents to adhere to public health recommendations, including wearing a facemask, socially distancing, avoiding gatherings and washing hands frequently.

  The County also provided a list of important points for residents to consider:

  The most up-to-date information is at?www.kalcounty.com/covid19?and?www.facebook.com/KalamazooCountyHCS. The health department will notify the public via press releases, social media and website updates as information changes.

  If you schedule an appointment but find another option or cannot make it, remember to cancel your appointment so someone else can schedule. You may cancel through the appointment reminder email you received from the health department’s scheduling system or by calling the health department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 269-373-5200.

  Vaccination is by appointment only. Do NOT show up at the health department or any vaccination site without an appointment.

  Kalamazoo County Government’s website can be converted to Spanish, Arabic and French. On any county website, in the top right-hand corner under the social media icons, you will see “Translate”. Click on this and select the language you wish to translate the page to. The pre-registration waitlist form will also translate to this language.

  Reserve phone calls for those who cannot easily access online information. The health department’s COVID-19 Call Center is 269-373-5200.

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