Michigan Association of Health Plans

Flu vaccine rates low in Michigan, counties work to boost vaccinations

This article originally appeared in WWMT. Read more here

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said they are seeing a significant decline in people getting flu shots so far this year.

Health officials were urging people to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine so that cases of both viruses don’t overwhelm the health care system at the same time.

The Population Health Alliance of Calhoun county put on a community health event in Springfield Saturday to help boost vaccine rates in the county.

The clinic took place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

They partnered with Grace Health and other health organizations to offer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the clinic.

“If we do get the illness, it helps us to have less symptoms,” said Hannah Frentz, a registered nurse at Grace Health. “So it’s very important to get vaccinated so our body can build up the antibodies to help protect us.”

According to the state’s flu vaccination dashboard, flu shots were more than 26% behind where they were this time last year.

Director of the Population Health Alliance Angela Stewart said the way to get more shots in arms is to meet people where they are.

“We’re trying to make it as accessible as possible. The best way to do that is to get out into the neighborhoods and so that’s why we’re doing an event here at the Burma center to really hit the Springfield neighborhood,” Stewart said.

The state’s goal is to reach 4 million flu vaccinations.

The latest state data shows a little over 25,000 people in Calhoun county have gotten the flu shot. The county’s goal is 53,000 people.

Frentz said hesitancy around vaccines is normal.

“I think its really good that you’re questioning it and want to find out more information. I would say talk to your doctor or trusted health care professional so they can answer your questions,” Frentz said.

By the end of the event, 22 people got the flu shot and 67 people got the COVID-19 vaccine at the clinic.

Population Health Alliance planned to host another vaccine event in December.

To schedule a COVID-19 or flu vaccine in the meantime in Calhoun county, visit the Calhoun county public health department’s website.

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