Nearly 60 percent of eligible Leelanau residents fully vaccinated against Coronavirus

Sixteen-year-old Josephine Gorman, a high school student at St. Francis in Traverse City, received the 15,000th dose of a COVID-19 vaccine administered by the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department at Glen Lake school on April 23.

From staff reports

Fifty-seven percent of eligible residents, 16 and older, in Leelanau County are fully vaccinated with either two shots from Pfizer or Moderna or one shot from Johnson & Johnson, according to a dashboard. That’s the highest percentage of any county in the state.

67.8 percent have received at least one dose.

“It won’t be long before we reach 70 percent,” said Lisa Peacock, health officer with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.

Statewide, 37.2 percent of Michiganders are full vaccinated, and 49.6 percent have received at least one dose.

Nevertheless, the rush of individuals to get vaccinated is showing signs of slowing down.

“Now we’re catching people who are on the fence, who haven’t made it a priority, or who have real concerns,” said Peacock.

The Health Department is employing innovative methods to bring vaccines into the community. On Tuesday, April 27, healthcare workers vaccinated more than 100 people at Crystal Mountain Resort near Thompsonville, then facilitated pop-up sites at a local grocery store, a jail, and Lake Ann Brewing Company to catch another 30 people.

At each site, the Health Department offered people the choice of a Pfizer vaccine (which requires a second dose) or a Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, which recently came back online.

Vaccines are now readily available at pharmacies and at doctor’s offices throughout Northern Michigan.

The Health Department has learned of businesses offering incentives for their employees to get vaccinated, such as paid time off or a $100 bonus.

“I’m happy when I hear that businesses are offering incentives for employees or guests to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Josh Meyerson, medical director with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “As we’ve gotten through highly motivated individuals, we have people who have barriers, or are a little more indifferent.”