COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution for Cherry Health patients:

If you are a current Cherry Health patient please call our COVID-19 Hotline at 616.965.8347 to register for an appointment. The COVID-19 Hotline is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines are free. For more information from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), check out these informational fliers:

Free Covid-19 Testing, Treatment and Vaccines (English)
Free Covid-19 Testing, Treatment and Vaccines (Spanish)

IMPORTANT UPDATE 5/11/21:

Vaccinations are now available for Cherry Health patients 12 years of age and up! Call the COVID hotline to schedule.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 4/29/21:

On April 23, after a 10-day pause, the CDC and FDA said that health systems can resume giving the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. The temporary pause gave experts time to review reports that a rare blood clot disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) was occurring in women younger than 50 after they received the vaccination.

More than 8 million doses of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) have been given out across the country. As of April 25, 2021, experts found 15 reports of the blood clot disorder in women under 50 – or a rate of approximately 0.9 per 1 million vaccinations.

Cherry Health will resume giving the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine based on these new recommendations and guidance provided by the Kent County Health Department. We believe that the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is safe, and we consider the risk to patients to be extremely small. If women age 18-49 have concerns about getting the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine we recommend getting one of the other COVID-19 vaccines that are available. Cherry Health is currently offering the Moderna vaccine, which has not been associated with an increase in blood clots. The chance of severe or hospitalization due to COVID-19 is far higher, and vaccination remains the fastest and safest way to end the pandemic.

If you have experienced concerning symptoms after receiving the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, please go to an emergency department, call 911, or reach out to your primary care provider.

SCHEDULING FOR COVID-19 VACCINATION IS CURRENTLY OPEN TO:

Current Cherry Health patients that are 12 and older.

Cherry Health is following state public health guidelines for distribution and Kent County guidelines for distribution.

Please note:

You should not receive the second dose earlier than recommended (21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna). The second dose should be given as close to the recommended timeframe as possible, but if that is not possible, then the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. However, there is no clear data on the effectiveness if it is delayed beyond this timeframe. For more information, review the CDC’s guidance on vaccine administration.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution for Non-Cherry Health Patients:

West Michigan health departments, hospitals, and other partners have come together to implement the MDHHS plan for a phased approach to vaccine distribution. You can find more information about registering for an appointment to get vaccinated by visiting vaccinatewestmi.com

 

COVID-19 Vaccination for Homebound Residents (Kent County only):

COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all individuals age16 and older. To make sure everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible, the Kent County Health Department wants to find residents who cannot leave their homes for a vaccination appointment.

If you are:

  • An older adult OR a person with a disability who requires in-home assistance
  • Unable to leave your home because doing so requires considerable effort or causes harm
  • Someone who uses adaptive equipment (like a ventilator, crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, etc.) and/or accessible transportation to leave home

Let the Kent County Health Department Know by calling 2-1-1 & press 5 or call 616.459.6281

Additional Resources on COVID-19 Vaccination
Vaccinate West Michigan
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Information
FDA COVID-19 Vaccine Information

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
Vaccines work by tricking the immune system to fight off an infection. They do this in different ways. Some use weakened versions of the virus that are unable to cause illness (chicken pox and measles); some use dead virus (influenza); and the COVID-19 vaccine uses pieces of the virus to target a specific protein on the surface of the virus.

You cannot get COVID-19 from a vaccine. The vaccine would contain proteins or other biological substances to stimulate the immune response, but not the coronavirus itself.

How is the vaccine administered?
Health care personnel and patients will receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a shot into the muscle of the upper arm. A second dose is then administered either three or four weeks later.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The FDA carefully reviews all safety data and only authorizes vaccine use if there’s sufficient evidence strongly suggesting that patients have benefitted from the vaccine and that it meets safety standards. The FDA has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?
The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be effective, based on initial clinical trials. Because the vaccine is authorized for an emergency use during the pandemic, the vaccine’s maker will continue to collect data to demonstrate whether the vaccine is effective over longer periods of time.

Does the vaccine have side effects?
There are usually mild to moderate side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effect caused by the vaccine includes pain at the site where the vaccine was given, which is in the arm. Other side effects may include a headache, fever, chills or muscle aches.

Do I need to get my 2nd dose?
If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it is important to get your 2nd dose in order to receive the full protection of the vaccine. This is based on the clinical trial data for both COVID-19 vaccines.

How much will the vaccine cost?
According to the CDC, the federal government purchased hundreds of millions of vaccine doses with taxpayer money, so the vaccine, itself, will be given to Americans at no cost. Vaccine providers will be able to charge a fee to administer the shot, but this fee should be covered by public or private insurance, or by a government relief fund for the uninsured.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against the COVID-19 variants?
Early research suggests that all three vaccines can provide protection against the COVID-19 variants identified in the U.K. and South Africa. Vaccine manufacturers are also looking into creating booster shots to improve protection against variants.

What is the longest amount of time you can wait for your second shot?
First, you should not receive the second dose earlier than recommended (21 days for Pfizer and 28 days for Moderna). The second dose should be given as close to the recommended timeframe as possible, but if that is not possible, then the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. However, there is no clear data on the effectiveness if it is delayed beyond this timeframe.

If a vaccine needs two doses, can you switch to another vaccine/manufacturer for the second one?
No. Experts advise staying with the same vaccine for both. That’s true even for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which use the same general approach yet are different.

Can I get the vaccine if I've had COVID-19?
Getting COVID-19 might offer some natural protection or immunity from reinfection with the COVID-19 virus but it’s unclear how long this protection lasts. Therefore, it’s recommended you go ahead and get the vaccine when it’s your turn, even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

Current evidence suggests that people who have had COVID-19 may be protected for up to 90 days after their initial infection, so you may decide to wait until after this period, if desired.

Cherry Health Offering COVID-19 Testing

Please call the COVID-19 Hotline at (616) 965-8347, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing or for more information about COVID-19 testing. An appointment is required for testing.

Cherry Health COVID-19 testing location:
COVID-19 Testing and other Drive-Thru services such as flu shots will be available at:

Heart of the City Health Center Parking Garage
100 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(The entrance to the parking garage is on La Grave Ave SE)

Testing Hours:
Mon, Tue, Thur, and Fri: 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Wed: 7:30 am - 2:30 pm

COVID-19 Testing Events

There are no testing events planned at this time, please check back here for updates.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

COVID-19 is caused by a new respiratory virus. In December 2019, the virus began circulating in humans. Reported illnesses thus far have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

All staff at all sites are taking additional precautions to reduce the risk to our patients and staff.

Please call your health center first to determine if you need to be seen. Some visits may be provided through telehealth services. For contact information, visit our Locations page.

Symptoms: People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

- Fever or chills
- Cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue
- Muscle or body aches
- Headache
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea

Prevention is KEY and Cherry Health is working to limit the spread of illness through:

Continuous, thorough cleaning and sanitizing of exam rooms, lobbies and frequently touched surfaces at all facilities.
Making masks available for patient use, hand sanitizer and tissues available in all waiting areas.
All Cherry Health locations are conducting daily screenings of patients and staff for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering a building.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:Everyone can help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other infectious diseases by practicing everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, maintaining a safe social distance of 6 feet from others, wearing a face covering in public spaces, and covering coughs and sneezes.

MDHHS Coronavirus Hotline

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched a public hotline to answer health-related COVID-19 questions. The hotline will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-888-535-6136.

Coronavirus FAQs

For the latest developments, prevention tips and risk factors, please visit the following pages on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website:

COVID-19 Situation Summary
What you need to know
What to do if you’re sick

Additional Resources

World Health Organization
Michigan.gov COVID-19

 

Donate

Click the Donate Online button below or text COVID to 50155 to help fund Cherry Health’s critical services as we adapt to the new reality of access to health care. Please give as you are able.

Donate Online

 

COVID-19 PPE & Supply Donations

Click the Donate Supplies button below for more information on what items are needed and how to schedule a time to donate.

Donate Supplies