Although people 16 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, that is not the case yet in Van Buren and Cass counties.

β€œAt this time the health department is receiving Moderna and Janssen (J&J) whose vaccines are authorized for individuals 18 years and older,” officials from the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department stated in a news release.

The good news, however, is that more people in both counties are becoming vaccinated.

As of the beginning of April, 35.9 percent of Van Buren County residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while in Cass, 20.5 percent had done so.

The increase in vaccinations comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are spiking once again in Michigan. Some health officials speculate that an increase in variants is causing the number of cases to rise.

A new variant made its way to Michigan at the end of March when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was notified of a case of the P.1 or Brazil variant in a Bay County resident. As of March 31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 172 confirmed P.1 cases from 22 states. As of March 31, Michigan health officials also identified 1,468 cases of B.1.1.7 variant infections in 51 Michigan communities and seven cases of B.1.135 variant infections in six Michigan communities.

The Van Buren/Cass health department has listed the following locations where people can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The list follows:

Adults 65 years or older: Call Senior Services of Van Buren County at 269-468-9487 to receive the vaccine within 7-14 days from the health department, which is preparing to soon administer vaccinations to homebound residents. To be placed on a list call Senior Services of Van Buren County at a different number – 269-468-9476.

Van Buren/Cass District Health Dept.: Sign-up on the health department’s website and complete the “I want a COVID vaccine” form at https://vbcassdhd.org/covid -19-vaccine/

Bronson: Register for the vaccine through Bronson MyChart. https://www.bronson health.com/coronavirus -covid-19/vaccine/

Family Fare – Dowagiac and Paw Paw – call the pharmacy or sign up online at https://www.shopfamilyfare.com/covid19vaccine

InterCare Health Network: Taking names on a waitlist, call (855) 869-6900 to be added

Meijer: Register by texting “COVID” to 75049 or online at https://clinic.meijer.com/

RiteAid – Dowagiac and Hartford: Find out if you qualify and schedule an appointment here: https://www.riteaid.com/covid-vaccine -apt

Sam’s Club: The Sam’s Club in Mishawaka and Portage are now offering vaccine. Find out if you qualify and schedule an appointment here: www.samsclub.com/covid.

Spectrum Health Lakeland: A vaccine scheduler is available on their website. Visit https://www.spectrum healthlakeland.org/covid19/covid-19-vaccine -information-center

Village Market – Decatur: Taking names on a waitlist, call (269) 423-6770 to be added

Walgreens: As of the beginning of April very few Walgreens had vaccine for the public but you can continue to check their website by entering your zip code for vaccine eligibility here: https://www. walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19/ location-screening.