By Tom Travis
A mobile COVID-19 and flu vaccination unit will be in the neighborhoods surrounding Averill Avenue and Lapeer Road from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 20. A new community collaboration is bringing COVID vaccines, water, meals and other resources to Flint neighborhoods again this week, with free lunch, COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines available.
The approved pediatric COVID-19 vaccination is not yet available from the mobile units but is available throughout Genesee County. Vaccination sites for the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine can be found at this link: www.gchd.us/vaccinescheduler.
The mobile vaccination units provide Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines. Booster vaccines for all three brands are administered as well.
County Health Department offers guidelines on third dose vs booster COVID shot
According to the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) explains who is being recommended a third dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine versus who is eligible for a booster dose of the vaccine. It explains that persons who have a suppressed immune system need three doses to reach the same immunity someone without a suppressed immune system reaches with two doses.
And the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine is approved for a booster dose in designated individuals. A booster dose is given to maintain protection against COVID virus, when immunity from the original vaccine series may decrease over time.
The CDC offers guidelines for third dose vs booster COVID shot
“The CDC is recommending a third dose of the mRNA vaccine for specific groups of people. This is not a booster. This recommendation is for a 3rd dose for people who are immunocompromised to
increase their immune reaction to the vaccine.”
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
- Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines benefit people who get vaccinated by giving them protection against diseases like COVID-19 without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick.
- mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public. However, researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
- The same COVID-19 mRNA vaccine product should be used for both doses of a two-dose primary series and for an additional primary dose, if needed. However, any of the COVID-19 vaccines can be used for a booster dose. The booster dose product does not need to match the product used for the primary series.
- Learn more about getting your vaccine.
Meager increases in Genesee County vaccinations
According to the Genesee County Health Department 47.8 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated, an increase of one tenth of one per cent from the previous week. In the county 367,362 have received all the doses and 200,841 have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The local mobile vaccination units are not providing COVID vaccine for children yet. GFHC officials say that will be forthcoming. The Pfizer (both pediatric and adult) COVID vaccine along with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is available in Genesee County, some of those locations can be found at this link: www.gchd.us/vaccinescheduler. The Centers for Disease Control has announced the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for children ages 5 to 17.
Each vaccine mobile unit is staffed with nurses and outreach workers from the partner organizations to provide education about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines are available in each mobile unit.
Residents should look for the “Meet Up and Eat Up” truck (pictured above) or the Genesee Community Health van.
Greater Flint Health Coalition community health workers from Genesee CHAP (Community Health Access Program) are also present on each trip to connect residents to other community resources and support services if needed, according to a press release from The Greater Flint Health Coalition.
The Genesee County Health Department website states that Genesee County has a COVID-19 positivity rate of 17.4 per cent as of Nov. 5 — an increase of 4.7 per cent from last month. The CDC website also notes that 19.8 per cent of Genesee County population is “living in poverty.” The mobile vaccination units traveling throughout the greater Flint area are especially targeting low-income areas.
The Greater Flint Health Coalition (GFHC) has created a partnership with Genesee Community Health Center (GCHC), the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department’s (GCCARD) Meet Up and Eat Up program, and the United Way of Genesee County (UWGC) to provide neighborhood-based COVID-19 vaccine opportunities for residents.
If groups or organizations are interested in having a mobile COVID-19 outreach in their area they can contact Nichole Smith-Anderson at the GFHC at email@example.com or by calling (810)232-2228.
Updated information about COVID-19 vaccinations can be found at GFHC website www.gfhc.org/about/covid-19 and also at the Genesee County Health Department website www.gchd.us/coronavirus.
EVM Managing Editor Tom Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.