Michigan to move to next phase of COVID vaccinations

Starting next Monday, teachers, essential workers, and those 65 and older will be able to receive COVID vaccines.

Michigan is preparing to move into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Until now, only medical workers and nursing home residents and staff have been eligible to receive the vaccine, according to a plan of distribution laid out by the state based on CDC guidance.

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During a press conference Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state will open up vaccines to a new group of people beginning next Monday:

  • Teachers and childcare workers
  • Frontline essential workers, such as police officers, and jail and prison staff
  • People age 65 and older

As of Tuesday, more than 152,000 people had received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Both currently available vaccines require two doses scheduled several weeks apart.

“The strategy we are announcing today is efficient, effective, and equitable, focusing on making vaccines available to those who have the highest level of risk, whether it is because of where they work or because of their age,” said the state’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

Initially, Michigan wasn’t expected to move into Phase 1B of its vaccine distribution plan until February.

The amount of vaccines available and the slow pace of administration has prompted officials to move forward early. Additionally, many people in Phase 1A have reportedly declined to be vaccinated.

In Kalamazoo County, vaccinations are being coordinated through the county’s Department of Health and Community Services. So far, it is unclear how eligible individuals will be able to sign up to receive the vaccines, though previous vaccination drives have relied on workplace outreach and public signups.

You can read more on Michigan Advance.

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