The trip takes almost three hours each way and Alpena’s about 70 miles from the interstate, so much of the drive is on two-lane roads.
Bates is an OB-GYN doctor and the regional vice president of medical affairs at MidMichigan Health, which received a shipment of 2,925 doses of the vaccine on December 16.
MidMichigan Health also shipped doses to other facilities in its system, which serves 23 counties.
Bates is from Alpena and compared delivering the vaccine to his hometown to delivering a baby.
“Seeing our staff receive the vaccine was an unbelievable experience, much like delivering a new baby and handing that baby of to parents, who have just spent months and sometimes years thinking and dreaming and placing their hopes in that baby,” he told CNN’s Bianna Golodryga. “To see our staff with tears and taking pictures of them getting the vaccine and sharing it with their families — it was quite special.”
Another vaccine by Moderna can be stored at minus-20 degrees Celsius and kept in a refrigerator for up to 30 days before it expires.
Bates said that helping deliver the vaccine has been a powerful experience.
“The feelings in the room and the emotions were tangible, they were real and that was just really something special to be part of,” he said.
He’s made another delivery since then and has two more trips scheduled next week.