Published on December 18, 2020

New Chapter of Hope Begins with Arrival of Vaccine in Gratiot

Photo of Jeffrey Holmes, M.D. receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot.

Jeffrey Holmes, M.D. receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine at MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot.

Thursday marked a milestone, a new chapter of hope, when the COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot. The vaccine was transported to Gratiot Thursday morning by members of MidMichigan Health’s vaccination team. The Gratiot vaccines were 54 of 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that were received at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland by UPS truck on Wednesday morning.

The first Gratiot team member to receive the vaccine was Family Medicine Physician Jeffrey Holmes, M.D. When asked what receiving the vaccine meant to him, he stated, “When I told my family about my appointment for getting the vaccine, I was surprised how thrilled they were. My 30 year old daughter cried out of relief. They all recognize the toll this pandemic has taken from all who have worked so hard to keep patients alive, as well as me personally.”

Dr. Holmes continued, “It has been my honor to have been of service to my community during this pandemic, and it is the crisis for our century to arise and meet this challenge. I’ve had the opportunity to actually make a huge difference to my patients, and our office has helped lead the community in fighting this disease. This vaccine provides protection for me, my family and my staff to meet that hope. Winston Churchill, addressing parliament after Allied success, said that ‘it wasn’t the beginning of the end, but maybe the end of the beginning.’ I hope for the former, but am concerned it may be only the latter if we as a country do not fully vaccinate. We need to do it not for ourselves, but vaccinate for our friends, our neighbors, our country.”

Following Dr. Holmes’ vaccination, additional employees and providers received the vaccine. The clinic was just one of several held at MidMichigan’s Medical Center locations in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch. Those first receiving the vaccine will include employees from the health system’s 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.

“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.