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December 14: Vaccine Distribution Plan – First Phase

Good Afternoon,

Yesterday, trucks full of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine started rolling out of west Michigan, marking a major milestone in our fight against COVID-19.

MDHHS has also implemented its vaccine distribution plan, which puts some public works positions in the first phase of vaccinations, specifically front-line workers directly involved with maintaining winter roads.

The County Road Association and the Governor’s office have asked us to identify the number of front-line winter maintenance employees who want the COVID-19 vaccine asap. To help answer this question, over the weekend, we asked employees in specific positions if they were interested in getting the vaccine during the first phase of vaccinations. Thank you to everyone who responded quickly. We don’t know exactly when vaccines will be available to people who responded affirmatively but we are hopeful it will be soon. If your position does not fall into this narrow category, you will still be eligible to receive the vaccine but it will be at a later date.

At this time, we do not plan to mandate vaccination for employees. I highly encourage you to do your research and make the best decision for you and your family. While this can be a tough decision, I know I plan to get vaccinated to protect myself and my loved ones.

I think the CDC sums it up nicely: “Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.”

Each and every one of your jobs is essential and the vaccine looks like a very promising tool. If you want to learn more, here are some more resources to check out:

CDC’s “8 Things to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine Program

CDC’s “Understanding How the COVID-19 Vaccines Work

Pfizer’s Fact Sheet About Their COVID-19 Vaccine

USA Today’s” ‘Nothing too surprising there’: Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine ingredients are pretty standard, experts say”

Thank you for your continued efforts this year. We are hopefully turning a very important corner in this pandemic.

As always, take care and stay safe,

Sheryl