Michigan says all residents age 16 and up will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, nearly a month before the May 1 date pledged by President Joe Biden.
People age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities will qualify starting March 22. Two days later, March 24, a regional mass vaccination site will open at Detroit's Ford Field to administer an additional 6,000 doses every day for two months.
“The safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to protect you, your family and others from the virus,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement. “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."
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is advising vaccine providers to "consider an individual’s risk of exposure ... and their vulnerability" when scheduling appointments. It remains unclear how providers are meant to make those decisions.
Currently, those eligible to get a vaccine in Michigan include healthcare workers and other essential workers, anyone aged 65 or older, and anyone over 50 with a medical condition or disability. However, eligibility varies county-to-county.
The U.S. is expecting to have enough doses for adults by the end of May, but the process of actually administering doses will take time. MDHHS says it may take several weeks before all Michiganders who wish to receive the vaccine will be able to get an appointment.
This is a developing story.