Published on December 16, 2020

New Chapter of Hope Begins with Arrival of Vaccine in Alpena

Today marked a milestone, a new chapter of hope, when the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena. The vaccine was transported to the Medical Center in Alpena following a nearly three hour journey from Midland. The vaccines were 130 of 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that were received at MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland by UPS truck earlier this morning. Just a few short hours later the vaccine was taken by car to Alpena.

  • Vaccine Arrives

    Transporting the vaccine was former Alpena resident Richard Bates, M.D., regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health.

    Transporting the vaccine was former Alpena resident Richard Bates, M.D., regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health.

  • First Vaccination

    The first to receive the vaccine was Thomas Thornton, M.D., general surgeon and vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena.

    The first to receive the vaccine was Thomas Thornton, M.D., general surgeon and vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena.

Transporting the vaccine was former Alpena resident Richard Bates, M.D., regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health. “It was an honor to drive the vaccine to my hometown. It is providing hope to a community that has seen enough of COVID-19.”

Alpena’s vaccination team of 10 awaited Dr. Bates arrival where they would next receive the vaccination in advance of the employee and provider vaccination clinics scheduled to start on Thursday, Dec. 17. The first to receive the vaccine was Thomas Thornton, M.D., general surgeon and vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena.

“I was excited to receive the vaccine today. As a front line health care worker it is important for me to show our community this is safe,” said Dr. Thornton. “Up to this point with COVID-19, most everything has been reactive. This is the first time I can do something to make a difference and help put an end to the pandemic.”

Those receiving the vaccine on Thursday will include employees from the Emergency Departments, ICU, EMS, medical and COVID floors. Clinics will also begin Thursday at MidMichigan Medical Center’s in Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch. In the coming weeks additional employee groups will be vaccinated based on the health system’s prioritization process.

“This has been an incredible day. Our biggest goal with the vaccine is to encourage as many people to receive the vaccine so that we can help to end this pandemic,” said Lydia Watson, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president, MidMichigan Health. “We believe in the vaccine and the science behind it. We encourage our communities to educate themselves about the vaccine and how it will help us to fight COVID-19. We recommend getting the vaccine when it is offered to you.”

Those interested in learning more about the COVID vaccine may visit www.midmichigan.org/CovidVaccine.