Up until a few days ago, the Calhoun County Public Health Department was using large-scale clinics for the distribution of doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.  Now, those large-scale clinics continue, but they are augmented by smaller clinics designed to reach what county Health Officer Eric Pessel describes as under-served communities.

The department is characterizing the new vaccine operations as “micro clinics”. Pessell tells the Battle Creek Enquirer, “We're really looking at our under-served communities, both in Battle Creek and Albion, especially our communities of color. The focus is different."

The original large-scale clinics could handle anywhere from 600 to 1,000 people. This expanded approach is gearing each of the micro clinics to accommodate a couple hundred. That makes it easier to set them up in smaller locations, like churches.

The Enquirer reports leaders of the local NAACP chapter have been working with the health department to expand its vaccine outreach and make it easier for many residents of Battle Creek and Albion to have a chance to get vaccinated. Prior to the new micro clinics, local chapter President Carey Whitfield was helping area residents set up appointments at the big clinics to help make it easier for them to navigate the process.

Whitfield tells the Enquirer, “I filled them with people from minority communities, who may or may not have registered early, but they were more susceptible to having a problem. We were able to get many minorities out who were anxiously awaiting their opportunity that could not get out to these clinics."

Most of the area residents served by the new vaccine micro clinics are 65 and over. Many are in their 80’s and even 90’s.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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