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Friday, March 12, 2021

Michigan expanding COVID-19 Vaccine access to Michiganders ages 16 and older with medical conditions, disabilities starting March 22

This image shows the provisional schedule for vaccination priorities in Michigan. Click on image for larger version. (Image courtesy michigan.gov)

LANSING -- To continue progress toward state’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16 and bringing a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials today announced the state is expanding vaccination eligibility for Michiganders ages 16 and older with disabilities or medical conditions that put them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome beginning Monday, March 22.

The state is also announcing that beginning Monday, April 5, all Michiganders age 16 and up who were not previously eligible will be eligible to receive a vaccine. 

With the expanded vaccine eligibility, providers are still encouraged to schedule appointments and allocate vaccinations to residents based on highest risk, including older residents, essential workers, and frontline workers. The most recent vaccine prioritization guidelines can be found on Michigan’s COVID-19 website. 

"The safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to protect you, your family and others from the virus," said Governor Whitmer. "It will help the country get back to normal and help the economy. Nearly one million Michiganders of all races have already been safely vaccinated. I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines. It is essential to getting our country back to normal, so that we can all hug our families, get back to work, go to restaurants, send our kids to school, play sports and get together again. 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."

This is in addition to a recent announcement that MDHHS was moving forward with 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 as of Monday, March 8. Also beginning Monday, March 22, vaccine eligibility is expanding to include all Michiganders 50 and older.

According to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, "Over 2.7 million doses of the safe and effective COVID vaccines have been administered in Michigan, and we are well on our way to vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and up."

Even with the increase of COVID-19 vaccinations, Khaldun urges everyone to continue to practice preventative measures such as properly wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing to reduce the spread of the virus until the vast majority of people have been vaccinated.
   
Visit coppercountrystrong.com/vaccine to learn what vaccine is available, hear about the benefits of the vaccine, learn who is currently eligible and learn how you can sign up to get on a waiting list. Anyone who is eligible is urged to make a call as waiting lists are much shorter than they were when the vaccine immediately became available.

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