Beaumont Health employees get COVID vaccine booster dose

‘it would be foolish to not prepare for a fourth wave,’ doctor says

Beaumont administered its first COVID booster shots to staff members on Thursday (Sept. 30).

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.Beaumont doctor Nick Gilpin was one of the first healthcare workers in Michigan to get his first dose of the COVID vaccine and among the first wave of Beaumont employees to get his third dose.

Gilpin is the medical director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology at Beaumont Health. He’s hoping rolling up his sleeves will inspire others to do the same.

Thursday was the first day that Beaumont Health employees could get their third dose. It’s a milestone in the fight against COVID, but Gilpin believes we still have a long way to go.

For people who roll up their sleeves for the booster shot, that third dose is more than just another shot in the arm.

“I’m ready get back to traveling, to be safe at work and school and with my family,” said Beaumont Health social worker Deborah Ray-Leach.

Read: 63 new Michigan COVID facts -- Hospital metrics, new variant category, slowed increase in spread

“I’m personally putting myself at risk to take care of these patients and I want to be able to go home and spend time with my family, with my loved ones. I want to be able to do the things that are important to me,” Gilpin said.

Gilpin sees the booster shot as a sign of progress.

“A year ago we didn’t even have a vaccine and now we’re talking about getting our third doses,” he said.

At the same time, he said a first dose remains critical.

“We still have an enormous amount of the population that’s still susceptible. Most of the patients we’re seeing in our hospitals right now with COVID are unvaccinated patients,” Gilpin said.

He said he’s unsure what the next few months will bring, but he does have his concerns.

“I’ll tell you what I’m concerned about and that’s cooler weather, people moving indoors, a significant unvaccinated proportion of the population. So we know COVID is going to continue to live in this space ... I think it would be foolish to not prepare for a fourth wave,” Gilpin said.

Beaumont Health is only offering booster shot appointments to employees, those with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. If you are eligible for a third dose but don’t fit those guidelines they still encourage you get that booster shot.

Read: Complete Michigan COVID coverage

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About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.