At long last, the vaccine to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic is finally here — and one of your family’s options has been approved for use in children.
While it’s important that as many people who are able to receive their vaccine, do so, some local parents may have questions that they need answered before making the child’s appointment, so we asked Cheryl Woods, the division director of family health services with the Macomb County Health Department to clear up some misconceptions about these vaccines and get her tips on finding an appointment in the county.
In addition to wearing face masks, washing your hands often and staying home when you feel sick, getting vaccinated is an important piece in ending the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 vaccines represent the most effective way to protect you, your family and others from the virus,” Woods says. “Whether you receive Pfizer or Moderna, the end result is the same — and that is the prevention of serious illness and death, and a path back to normal.”
All three of the currently available vaccines have proven to be effective against COVID-19 and all three have been approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA, too.
“We need to be informed and mindful about health choices, but the reality is that these vaccines are safe and effective,” Woods adds. “Their benefits far outweigh their risks. And in fact, the CDC has stated that vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health.”
Getting your appointment
There are a number of locations where Macomb County residents can sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
To start the process, Woods suggests that families check the Vaccine Central page on the Macomb County website. Here, families can find a list of vaccine providers, eligibility requirements and information on how to get an appointment.
Parents looking for an appointment for their children should keep in mind that the Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently approved for use in children ages 16 and 17. Appointments for 16- and 17-year-olds. must be made at the Verkuilen Building in Clinton Township using the county’s online scheduler.
Residents who are high-risk, care for someone who is high-risk or who have disabilities or mobility issues are encouraged to use the Richmond/Lenox EMS Drive-Thru location on 32 Mile Road in Richmond or the Sterling Heights Senior Center on Utica Road in Sterling Heights.
If you need help getting to your appointment, you can make arrangements with the SMART bus system via smartbus.org/macombvaccine. Anyone that is unable to register via the internet can call 586-421-6579 between 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8-1 p.m. Saturday or 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Sunday.
Of course, the health department isn’t the only spot to score a vaccination appointment.
“In addition to the Health Department, people should check with their health system, local pharmacies and other community resources for opportunities to get vaccinated,” Woods explains.
“We’re all looking forward to the day when we can get back to normal and stop wearing a mask and be able to gather with friends and families,” she adds “That day is coming, and getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, and our community healthy and safe.”
For more information on getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home.
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