Santa visits Detroit to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations as the holidays near from Yahoo! News
December 15, 2021
By Emma Stein, Detroit Free Press
Santa’s reindeer braved the cold, 60-mph winds in southeast Michigan on Saturday afternoon so he could get to Detroit to help encourage community members to get vaccinated.
A Wayne Health Mobile Unit provided COVID-19 vaccines, as well as flu shots and other health screenings, at the pop-up clinic at Saunders Memorial A.M.E. Church. The event also featured a visit with Santa, ice sculptures, and food.
“Even if they come just to get the food, see Santa and ice sculptor, we have an opportunity to give them information so that maybe the next time they’ll go and get vaccinated,” said Joelynn Stokes, pastor at Saunders Memorial A.M.E. Church.
As health officials say Michigan coronavirus cases continue to trend in a ‘deeply concerning direction,’ the state lags behind other states in vaccination rates. As of Saturday, only 56.1% of Michigan residents are fully vaccinated.
The omicron variant, shown to be even more transmissible than the delta variant, has been identified in the state and hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 patients, the majority of whom are unvaccinated.
“The situation in our state is critical right now. Cases are surging, hospitals are full and we have a new variant,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical executive. “I strongly urge all Michiganders to … get vaccinated, get boosted, to wear a well-fitting mask whenever you are in indoor public settings … and get tested if you have symptoms that could be COVID-19; get tested if you feel you may have been exposed; get tested before any unmasked gatherings. We’re really at a critical place in this pandemic and it’s really time for everyone to do their part.”
Visit our Wayne Health Mobile Unit page to find a time and location near you to receive your COVID-19 vaccine.