Michigan expanding access to safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

LANSING — To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials today announced the state is expanding vaccination eligibility beginning Monday, March 8. This change follows the announcement by President Joe Biden that ramped-up production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

MDHHS is moving forward with the vaccination of Michiganders age 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs. Beginning Monday, March 22, vaccine eligibility will again expand to include all Michiganders 50 and older. To date, more than 40 percent of Michiganders age 65 and older have been vaccinated.

“The more people we can get the safe and effective vaccine, the faster we can return to a sense of normalcy,” Whitmer said. “I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines to protect you, your family and your community. We’ve already administered over 2.3 million doses to Michiganders of all races and backgrounds, and yesterday’s announcement that our national supply will be enough to protect all Americans by the end of May is incredible news. And as always: mask up, practice safe social distancing and avoid large indoor gatherings where COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person. We will eliminate this virus together.”

“Over 2.3 million doses of the safe and effective COVID vaccines have been administered in Michigan, and we know more vaccine is coming into the state,” added Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We are pleased to expand eligibility for more people to get vaccinated as we continue to focus on our most vulnerable and those at highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. We are well on our way to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders age 16 and up. With three safe and effective vaccines now authorized for use, people should get the first vaccine available to them. These vaccines are the way we are going to end this pandemic.”

All vaccine providers may begin vaccinating the two new priority groups of 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs by Monday. Those eligible to receive a vaccine should:

  • Check the website of the local health department or hospital to find out their process or for registration forms; or
  • Check additional vaccination sites, such as local pharmacies like Meijer, Rite Aid or Cardinal Health (U.P. residents); or
  • Residents who do not have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or can call 2-1-1.

Officials said it is important to note that, while supplies are increasing, there remains a limited amount of vaccine available, so there may be a waitlist for available appointments. As more vaccine becomes available, the state will continue to move more quickly through the priority groups.

 

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