Covid shots become available to Michigan educators and anyone over age 65 next week.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, acknowledging distribution diffiiculties since vaccinations began just over three weeks ago, pledged Wednesday afternoon that the state health department will pick up the pace as quickly and safely as possible.
"Every shot in the arm is a step closer to ending this pandemic," she said in a briefing streamed from Lansing, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Health workers, emergency responders and those in longterm care facilities (staff and residents) have been eligible for the two-stage protection so far. As of Wednesday afternoon, 152,500 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer had been given and 513,330 doses were available, a state Covid-19 Vaccine Dashboard shows. (Some doses are saved for second-stage "booster shots," which began this week for mid-December recipients.)
Starting Monday, each of Michigan's 83 county health departments will begin vaccinating K-12 teachers, child-care workers, seniors and others in Phases 1B and 1C who register for appointments. In addition to county-run clinics, vaccines are expected to be available at some pharmacies, hospitals, urgent care centers and other enrolled providers.
Online or phone registration is vital, stress the governor and Dr. Joneigh Khladun, her chief medical officer. They want to avert long lines and overnight car waits, which have been televised from Florida this week.
From the Freep:
"We don't want to see people standing in lines," Whitmer said.
"We don't want to see people … jeopardizing their health, as we've seen in other states. And that's why it's important to make sure that you've made an appointment before you head out to get your vaccine."
Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services will post links here to county agencies arranging appointments. Some county health departments have online signups for email information on vaccines. The state says:
Michigan local health departments will schedule vaccinations. You can figure out the name of the local health department for your county using this map. If your local health department is ready to schedule vaccinations, a link is provided below. If there is no link for your local health department, you can check back tomorrow, as this page will be updated regularly.
So far, only Ingham County and a four-county Upper Peninsula district are listed.
Metro Detroit departments have informational pages:
Wayne County: "Visit again once it is announced vaccine is available to the general public"
Macomb County: Appointment line: (586) 463-8777, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays
Oakland County: Sign up for information via text or email