Published on December 16, 2020

New Chapter of Hope Begins with Arrival of Vaccine

Photo of AJ Schafer, R.N., medical ICU nurse at MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland, staff member, AJ Schafer, R.N., a medical ICU nurse, receives the Pfizer vaccine today.

Today marked a milestone, a new chapter of hope, when the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland, the flagship hospital of MidMichigan Health. The first to receive the vaccine in the Great Lakes Bay Region, 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered to the Medical Center’s loading dock this morning and in just a few short hours later, the first vaccine was given to a front line health care worker.

That staff member was AJ Schafer, R.N., a medical ICU nurse, of Weidman, Mich. “This is an exciting time. It’s a new start for everyone,” said Schafer. “I think the vaccine will help alleviate the fear of the common cold, even allergies, the ‘what ifs.’ The vaccine gives us confidence, and as more people get vaccinated, we can help alleviate those fears. It gives us hope.”

Following Schafer’s vaccination, an additional four front line health care workers were next in line followed by 35 members of the health system’s vaccination team. In addition, a supply of doses was taken to MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena for distribution to the Alpena vaccinator team later this afternoon.

Then, beginning Thursday, Dec. 17, the vaccination team will roll-out a series of employee and provider clinics held in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch. Those receiving the vaccine will include employees from the Emergency Departments, ICU, EMS, medical and COVID floors. 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