Dr. Richard Bates is an ob-gyn who is insuring that rural Michiganders can access the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Bates has been logging hundreds of miles in his pick up truck, taking the vaccine from his hospital in Midland and transporting them north to rural communities like Alpena and West Branch.

Mid Michigan Hospital, where Bates delivers babies, has one of the few freezers that can store the Pfizer vaccine at cold enough temperatures. Once out of the deep freeze, the vaccine has a shelf life of five days. Enough time for the good doctor to schlep it northward to rural medical clinics before it goes bad.

“There were similarities honestly, between delivering babies and delivering hope to families who either have been trying to get pregnant for years or just the nine months of prenatal care,” Bates told MSNBC. “It’s been a joy, just like delivering babies.”

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