Governor Gretchen Whitmer made two big announcements to the vaccine drive in Michigan on Friday, March 12, that aim to vastly speed up the vaccination process for many Michiganders. In Detroit, an eight-week mass vaccination site was announced to be opening inside Ford Field, while COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be opened to all residents older than 16 on April 5.
“The safe and effective vaccine is the best way to protect Michiganders and their families, and it is essential to getting our country back to normal so that we can all hug our loved ones, get back to work, and send our kids to school safely,” sated Governor Whitmer.
“I want to thank President Biden and FEMA for the opportunity to build one of the nation’s first community vaccination sites to service the entire Southeast Michigan region,” she added. “Over one million Michiganders of all races have already been safely vaccinated, and this site will help us to reach our goal of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders who are 16 years or older more quickly. Ramping up vaccine distribution will also help our economy recover faster and help save our small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Let’s get to work, and let’s get it done.”
NEW FORD FIELD REGIONAL COMMUNITY VACCINE SITE
New:@WhiteHouse announces @fordfield will become a mass community vaccination site with @fema assistance. pic.twitter.com/chGZBSCdM1
— Brian Abel (@BrianAbelTV) March 12, 2021
Selected based on the CDC’s priority tool, Ford Field will serve those hardest hit and most vulnerable from Oakland, Wayne and Macomb County by working to administer 6000 doses per day for eight weeks straight. The facility will be managed by the State of Michigan, with support from FEMA, Wayne County, the City of Detroit, Ford Field, Meijer, Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Lions.
The vaccines will be provided at no cost and no insurance will be required to obtain one, while those currently eligible for the vaccine can register to receive one through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
“The most important thing we can do now as a community is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible so our lives and our economy can return to normal,” stated Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, while commenting on the opening of the center. “Having this new mass vaccination site operated by FEMA will be a significant step forward for our city and our region toward that goal. We will be working closely with FEMA and state officials to make sure vaccines are distributed equitably.”
EXPANDED VACCINE ELIGIBILITY
Additionally, beginning Monday, April 5, all Michiganders age 16+ who were not previously eligible will be eligible to receive a vaccine.
This is exciting news, and I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 12, 2021
The news about Ford Field was not the only vaccine news for Michigan, as Starting March 6, all Michiganders 16 and older with conditions such as asthma, cancer, type 1 and 2 diabetes and other issues will be eligible for vaccination, while all others 16 and older with no medical issues will be eligible for vaccination starting in April.
This news comes a day after President Biden announced that every American seeking vaccination would be eligible to do so by May 1. Biden’s administration plans to launch a federally run website that will show vaccination locations starting in May.
However, it was noted that in April, Michiganders might face some wait times as the state works to get a shot in the arm of all seeking them.
There are also plans to administer the vaccine through pharmacies across the nation, while the federal government plans to devote resources to assist community health centers in vulnerable communities across the country.
At the moment, michigan.gov/coronavirus is the best resource for all the latest vaccine information.
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