Vaccine photo

Doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared during a mass vaccination clinic in March at Lake Michigan College in Benton Township.

BENTON HARBOR — COVID-19 booster shot appointments will be available next week at health department clinics.

A Facebook post from the Berrien County Health Department announced the offerings Friday. BCHD will provide Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots at the scheduled clinics.

“While we know that the initial vaccine series provides very good protection for most people, the focus is to stay ahead of the virus by making sure people have the most protection against COVID-19 infection, severe illness and death,” Gillian Conrad, communication manager for BCHD, said in an email.

Eligibility depends on what vaccine a person has received, the post stated.

Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series are eligible, under the following circumstances:

  • 65 years or older.
  • 18+ and live in a long-term care setting.
  • 18+ and have an underlying health condition.
  • 18+ and work or live in a high-risk setting.

All adults who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for the booster shot.

“The FDA and CDC have made recommendations for millions of Americans to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes the added flexibility of allowing ‘mix and match’ dosing for booster shots,” Conrad said in an email. “Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose.”

The health department post stated Pfizer and Moderna series recipients should wait at least six months after vaccination to receive the boost. Johnson & Johnson recipients should wait at least two months.

Those who are qualified and interested, can schedule an appointment by visiting app.squarespacescheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=21576378.

Conrad said individuals do not have to go to the provider they received their primary series at; rather, they can choose what location works best for them.

BCHD will provide boosters at regular clinics from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays in Benton Harbor and from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesdays in Niles. Appointments are available on the health department website, but they will accept walk-ins as well.

Berrien cases

Berrien County’s new cases dipped, but the county remained in the high COVID-19 transmission category for the 10th week in a row.

Berrien’s seven-day average for new cases from Oct. 14-20 was about 181 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to state data. Last week, it was at 213 new cases per 100,000 residents.

Two people died from COVID-19 in Berrien, from Oct. 14-20.

Berrien County’s percent of tests coming back positive was at 10.5 percent on Thursday. Last week, it was 13 percent.

The number of COVID-positive patients at Spectrum Health Lakeland rose from last week.

There were about 23 patients admitted each day, as of Friday. That’s the total admitted, not new admissions each day. That’s below the average a day for the last three weeks: 16, 27 and 17.

The BCHD’s data dashboard remains under construction.

Vaccine update

Vaccinations fell compared to last week’s surge.

COVID-19 vaccine providers in Berrien County administered 981 doses this week, as of Thursday, down from 1,345 doses the week prior. The week before that, 737 doses were given.

As of Thursday, 144,642 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Berrien County with 66,713 of those being second doses, according to state data.

That equates to about 59.4 percent of Berrien County residents (12 and up) with at least one dose of vaccine, and about 55 percent being fully vaccinated.

Last Thursday, the county was at 59.2 percent with at least one dose and 54.8 percent fully vaccinated.

Van Buren, Cass

Both Van Buren and Cass counties remained in high transmission this past week.

Van Buren County recorded 206 new COVID-19 cases this week and one new death. The county had recorded 238 new cases last week and 250 new cases the week before.

Cass County recorded 152 new COVID-19 cases this week and one new death. The county had recorded 136 new cases last week and 140 new cases the week before.

Van Buren County’s percent positivity went down from 14 percent from last week to 13.4 percent this week, according to state data. Cass County’s percent positivity stayed at 20 percent from last week to this week.

As of Thursday, Van Buren County was at 63.6 percent of residents (12 and up) with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 59.3 percent fully vaccinated, according to state data.

Last Thursday, the county was at 63.3 percent with one dose and 58.9 percent fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday, Cass County was at 41.9 percent of residents (12 and up) with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 38.3 percent fully vaccinated.

Last Thursday, the county was at 41.7 percent with one dose and 38 percent fully vaccinated.

Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana