Tag Archive | Kent County Health Department

COVID-19 Vaccines Available to Children 5 to 11

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is currently taking appointments for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. In addition, extended clinic hours at all locations will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 and Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 from 8 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. and from 12:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Appointments can be made for all three KCHD clinic locations during regular business hours by calling (616) 632-7200.

A parent or legal guardian is required to attend the vaccination appointment or send an attestation form with an adult who is at least 18 years old, stating they are legally allowed to sign on behalf of any minor child for the vaccine. This adult should be familiar with the medical history of the child.

“We are tremendously excited to be able to provide this next wave of vaccines to younger children,” says Mary Wisinski, KCHD Immunizations Supervisor. “We have seen an increase in the number of children being infected with COVID-19 since this summer. This vaccine not only protects them, but it will help slow the transmission of the disease in our community. Vaccinating just one child has the potential to save many lives.”

Like the adult version, this vaccine entails two shots of a vaccine, given at least three weeks apart. However, the dose is approximately a third of what adults received. Also, different packaging will be used to guard against mix-ups and smaller needles will likely be used.

Among its findings during clinical testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the Pfizer vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 to 11. The vaccine safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children aged 5 to 11 with no serious side effects detected in the ongoing study. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in children ages 5 to 11.
El Departamento de Salud del Condado de Kent (Kent County Health Department) ofrecerá la vacuna contra el COVID-19 a niños de 5 a 11 años
El martes, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) de EE. UU. autorizaron el uso de emergencia para la vacuna contra el COVID-19 desarrollada por Pfizer y su socio BioNTech a partir del viernes para los niños de 5 a 11 años.

Como resultado de este desarrollo, el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Kent (KCHD) actualmente está programando citas para la vacuna contra el COVID-19 de Pfizer BioNTech para este grupo etario. Además, todos los centros tendrán un horario extendido el martes 9 de noviembre y el martes 16 de noviembre de 2021 de 8 a. m. a 11:45 a. m. y de 12:45 p. m. a 6:45 p. m. Las citas pueden programarse para los tres centros del KCHD llamando al (616) 632-7200 durante el horario de atención habitual.

Se requiere que el padre, la madre o el tutor legal asista a la cita de vacunación o que envíe una certificación con un adulto de al menos 18 años de edad que indique que este cuenta con la autorización legal para firmar en nombre del menor para la vacuna. Este adulto debe estar familiarizado con los antecedentes médicos del menor.

“Nos complace enormemente poder ofrecer esta próxima ola de vacunas a los niños más pequeños”, expresó Mary Wisinski, supervisora de vacunación del KCHD. “Detectamos un aumento en la cantidad de niños infectados con COVID-19 desde este verano. Esta vacuna los protege a ellos y también ayudará a disminuir la transmisión de la enfermedad en nuestra comunidad. Vacunar a un solo niño tiene el potencial de salvar muchas vidas”.

Al igual que la versión para adultos, esta vacuna requiere dos dosis, que se administran con una diferencia de al menos tres semanas una de otra. Sin embargo, la dosis es aproximadamente un tercio de la dosis para adultos. Además, se utilizará un empaquetado diferente para evitar confusiones, así como es probable que se usen agujas más pequeñas.

Health Department publishing Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Newsletter

Beginning in June, the Kent County Health Department began publishing a monthly newsletter for distribution at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Pick up your copy next time you shop at the market: Friday Night Farm Stand,  3 – 7 p.m. at Garfield Park, Burton & Madison SE, or the Main Market, Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gerald R Ford School, Madison & Franklin SE.

SEAFM 20Newletter 20July 202013pdf_Page_1

SEAFM 20Newletter 20July 202013pdf_Page_2

Social Justice was the focus of Health Equity Forum in Kent County

This article is reposted from GRIID.org. OKT also had opportunity to attend this forum.

“The presenters … defined health inequity as: Differences in population health status and mortality rates that are systemic, patterned, unfair, unjust, and actionable, as opposed to random or caused by those who become ill.”

On Thursday, the Kent County Health Department, Healthy Kent 2020 and the Strong Beginnings Program hosted a forum to explore the root causes of health inequality in Kent County.

Quite often the focus of health care forums is about access or looking at just individual behavior as determinants of people’s poor health. At this forum, the focus was an investigation into the structural or systemic causes of poor health.

To facilitate this conversation, the Kent County Health Department invited two staff members of the Ingham County Health Department, Dr. Renee Canady and Doak Bloss. Canady and Bloss have been doing social justice focused health analysis at their health department and facilitating workshops across the state in recent years.

The presenters expressed the importance of finding new language when talking about health inequality in America. They defined health inequity as:

Differences in population health status and mortality rates that are systemic, patterned, unfair, unjust, and actionable, as opposed to random or caused by those who become ill.

The co-facilitators then looked at the various determinants of health inequality in the US and said that things like housing, transportation, education, job security, access to health foods and a living wage were some of the determinants.

The presenters said that this was a radical departure from the traditional view of public health, which is often limited to individual behavior. However, they emphasized that class, gender and racial privilege often prevent people from seeing the systemic causes of health inequity.

It was quite refreshing to hear presenters talk about class oppression and globalization as major factors in determining people’s health. The presenters even used the language of the Occupy movement and referred to the 1% versus the 99%.

After the main presenters discussed social justice and health inequity, a staff member of the Kent County Health Department then presented data on health disparities in Kent County.

The data presented information on how many adults and children were living in poverty in Kent County, with a breakdown along racial lines. There was also data on infant mortality rates, morbidity and geographical significance.

It was clear from the data presented that there were large pockets of poor neighborhoods that were disproportionately Black and Hispanic that had greater health inequality. Blacks and Hispanics children have a higher rate of living in poverty and infant mortality rates are higher than for White children. The data also showed that poor & minority communities are 6 times more likely to report 14 or more days a year of poor health, 3 times more likely to have diabetes and 8 times more likely to have heart disease.

The social justice and health inequity forum concluded with individual tables having discussion about the information presented and how those in the health care community need to respond to the systemic injustice that exists in Kent County. However, it was recognized that the organizations in the room needed to begin with the recognition of systemic and root causes of health disparities and then develop strategies to confront the systems that maintain these disparities.