The pandemic battle continues in Calhoun County and Health Department Officer Eric Pessel took a timeout to give WBCK listeners an update on the Morning Show with Tim Collins. 

“I want to get back to normal and the easiest way and the quickest way for us to get back to what we used to believe was normal is for us to get vaccinated,” said Pessell.  “We need to hit at least 70% of our population. Right now, we're sitting at about 28.5% of Calhoun County residents that have completed the vaccine.   The entire state is at 29.6%.   Kalamazoo County is one of the highest, with 35.3% vaccinated.  That means about 31,000 Calhoun County residents have had the shots, but it also means about 100,000 have not.  See a comparison of counties around the state by clicking here.

The next great opportunity for you to be vaccinated is this Wednesday, April 21st at the Battle Creek Y-Center off Cherry Street.    Pessell says they’re expanding the hours to try and accommodate working people.    “This week we're going later, from 2:00 to 7:00 PM.  For those of you who feel like maybe you can't get time off work, come on down after.  Or if you're a third shift worker, come on out before and we'll get you vaccinated.  Just walk in.  It's on Wednesday at the Y- Center Battle Creek Multi-Sports Complex, which is behind the Y.  Just enter from the entrance on Cherry Street.”   Pessell also said there will be plenty of vaccines, so there’s no need for everyone to come right at 11 am.  

Last Tuesday, the Health Department had to call an audible and scramble, as the clinic at Albion College had planned to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  But the morning of the event, the government suspended the use of the vaccine due to some health concerns.  The clinic went on as planned, with the Pfizer vaccine.   

"I think we were up and running within a half-hour of our normal start time.  The staff did a great job and we had a decent turnout.  I think it was close to 380 shots that day,” said Pessell.   But he says they need more people to come out and says they’re trying to make it as easy as possible.  “We're allowing walk-ins nowbut if you're somebody that needs to schedule it, you still can do that off the link on our web page. 

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This week Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated that a booster shot may be required after six months.   Pessell said he kind of chuckled at that statement.   "I don't know where that's coming from.  The scientific data we’re seeing says through six months these things are working well.  I'm expecting at least 12 months out of this first round of doses.  I'm not sure where that statement was coming from, but we’ll wait and see if the data and the facts bear that out. 

Who: Anyone 16 years or older

What:  Walk-In Vaccination Clinic (Pfizer vaccine)

When: Wednesday, April 21st, 2pm-7pm

Where: Battle Creek Y-Center Multi-Sports Complex, Cherry Street entrance

Why:  Calhoun County is lagging behind and many people haven't been vaccinated yet.

How:  Show up any time 2pm-7pm, or pre-register on line.


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