By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.- The mood at the vaccination clinic on Saturday was uplifting and hope.
“They were just so happy to be there,” said Jenny Roelandt, Ortonville Rite Aid, pharmacist. “Many expressed they could soon see their children and grandchildren. There was a feeling of relief from many.”
That’s how Roelandt described some of the recipients’ reactions following a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic on March 20. Roelandt, a 2004 Brandon High School graduate and 2015 University of New England School of Pharmacy alumna, along with Seymour Lake United Methodist Church, 3050 S. Sashabaw Road coordinated one of the first vaccination clinics in the township.
The Ortonville Rite Aid secured 300 doses of the J&J/Janssen vaccine for distribution. The one shot single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, is to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older.
Roelandt said that about 300 individuals scheduled vaccinations, following an Ortonville area Facebook post. The remaining 20 vaccinations were given to walk-in candidates.
“I had reached out to the area schools first for the vaccine, however, they had sufficient coverage,” she said. “It’s important for individuals to receive the vaccine when possible.”
Roelandt was motivated to set up the clinic because many of her pharmacy customers expressed frustration because they can’t get appointments for the vaccine.
“It’s hard to get an appointment,” she said. “So, I worked to establish a clinic in an effort to help vaccinate as many as possible. If more doses of the vaccine become available we’ll consider another clinic here in the area.”
Roelandt emphasized for everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccination when you can.
“The concern right now is the mutant strains of the virus,” she said. “Anytime a virus enters the body it replicates. Then once it replicates it mutates—that’s why we now have all these mutated strains circulating. The more people that get vaccinated the less chances there are of the mutated strains.”
According to the Oakland County Health Division total eligible senior residents 65 and older is 217,676. As of March 23, 143,738 of senior residents have received the first dose; 87,847 senior residents have completed vaccination. Vaccine coverage for senior residents 66 percent.
By David Fleet