State Projecting July-August Vaccination Start For ‘Everyone Else’ Category
February 9, 2021
If you’re not a senior, a frontline essential worker or someone with a health issue, you may not get a COVID vaccine until July or August at the earliest, according to the state’s interim timeline for its vaccination campaign.
However, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the calendar is an interim one, and it’s based on how many vaccines the state is receiving, which could change. She noted Johnson & Johnson recently asked for emergency approval for its vaccine, which could lead to another available vaccine.
For Phase 2 people – which is everyone from 16 to 64 years that aren’t covered in previous categories – the chart showing the state’s interim calendar has a lightly shaded bar beginning in July and August and getting darker as it approaches December.
The chart can be found on pg. 10 of this presentation, which was given Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reporters about the state’s vaccination strategy as it stands now.
Beyond the groups of people who have already been granted access to vaccination, the chart shows other essential frontline workers would begin vaccination in May, as would those aged 18 to 64 with COVID risk factors and pre-existing conditions. All remaining essential workers would begin around that time, as well.
Khaldun and DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel were asked by a reporter after the presentation if characterizing the rollout and distribution as disorganized was a fair one to make.
Hertel said the “real barrier” is the amount of vaccine available to Michigan, and that once Michigan begins getting more quantities, “we will see a lot of those issues disappear.”
Khaldun said the state has plans to create mass vaccination sites in each emergency preparedness region of the state, as well as at least one 24-hour drive-through clinic in each region, but she didn’t provide a timeline as to when that may happen.
DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin said later there are some mass vaccination clinics already under way at the Novi Showplace in Oakland County, DeVos Center in Kent County, Expo Center in Kalamazoo County, and the Michigan State University Pavilion in Ingham County.
Other strategies mentioned for building a network of vaccination sites included using places like casinos, nail salons, barber shops, emergency departments and primary care clinics as places that can give vaccines, as well as using rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft to alleviate transportation issues.
Hertel said the state at first was allocating most doses to hospitals because of the health workers in 1A priority group. That was then reallocated to a 50-50 split between the hospitals and local health departments, and it’s been reallocated again to a 60-40 split toward the local health departments, she said.
The state’s goal remains getting 70% of Michiganders who are 16 or older getting vaccinated as quickly as possible. The DHHS also wants 90% of doses received administered within a week, and 95% of people to get their second dose of vaccine within the expected time frame.
As of Friday, the state’s dashboard shows 1.8 million doses distributed and 1.1 million doses administered.