Michigan expands vaccine access to people 50 and over

Access to the COVID vaccine will be extended to people 50+ over the next three weeks.

State health officials are on a roll this week. On Tuesday, they announced a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions affecting restaurants and other businesses. On Wednesday, they announced plans to expand vaccine access to people age 50 and older.

The expansion of vaccine access will come in steps.

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Beginning next Monday, people age 50 and older with underlying health conditions will be able to receive the vaccine.

Two weeks later, everyone 50 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated.

The move is especially notable because of the outsize impact the coronavirus has had on that age group. Of the 15,563 who have died from COVID-19 in the past year, 97% have been age 50 or older. Evidence has shown that older people are also more prone to developing severe symptoms of the virus and requiring hospitalization.

In addition to making vaccines available to people 50 and older, state leaders announced expansion of eligibility to several other groups:

  • Caregivers of children with special healthcare needs
  • People living in homeless shelters
  • Jail and prison inmates

All those will be eligible for vaccination beginning next week.

Inmates have been a particularly vulnerable population during the pandemic. Most recently, much of the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus has been tied to outbreaks in prison populations.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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