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Vaccine eligibility expands, but interest wanes in northwest Michigan

a person holds a vaccine vial
Adobe Stock

When vaccinations opened to northwest Michigan’s older population, health officials reported a “crushing demand.” Now that appointments have opened to all ages, they can’t find enough people.

The health officer for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, Lisa Peacock, says with almost half the region vaccinated, the other half seems to be hesitant.

Every day, people reach out to their offices asking for information on the vaccine’s safety.

“We are happy to discuss their questions or concerns and get them over that hurdle,” she said.

Peacock says 45% of their population has had at least one dose.

“As you saturate more and more of the community and get more people vaccinated then you might be running into the people who are a little more hesitant,” she said.

The health department is trying new strategies like posting scheduling links on Facebook for appointments that same day or the next one. Peacock says they are trying to make vaccines more accessible by hosting a large-scale clinic in Gaylord next week, located just off I-75.

She says anyone needing transportation for an appointment can call 3-1-1 for a free ride.

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IPR's Taylor Wizner is passionate about empowering communities through solid reporting.