All Michigan residents 16 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on April 5


Michigan's goal is to vaccinate at least 70% of the population. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Michigan's goal is to vaccinate at least 70% of the population.

All Michigan residents 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, the state announced Friday.

Beginning on March 22, Michigan is also expanding eligibility for residents 16 and older with certain disabilities or medical conditions that put them at an increased increased risk of severe illness from the coronavirus.

“The safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to protect you, your family and others from the virus,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement Friday. “It will help the country get back to normal and help the economy.”

The state’s goal is to vaccinate at least 70% of the population to reach herd immunity. So far, more than 1 million Michigan residents — or about 12.5% of the state’s population 16 and older — have been fully vaccinated.

Michigan also announced on Friday that a federally selected regional mass vaccination site will open at Ford Feld in Detroit to increase inoculations by 6,000 doses a day for two months.

“After a year of tremendous challenges and heartache, the new vaccine site at Ford Field will be a beacon of hope in a community that was hit hard by the devastating impacts of this deadly virus,” Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist said. “When we saw this virus targeting Black and Brown communities, Michigan got to work setting up one of the nation’s first task forces to help reduce the staggering, disproportionate rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths in communities of color. As we continue to expand our state’s vaccine program, we must build upon the work that we’ve done in this space to ensure equitable access to this safe and effective vaccine. We can honor the legacies of the those we’ve lost to this virus by ensuring that we all get the vaccine when it is our turn.” 

The regional site is expected to boost Detroit’s vaccination rate, which is the lowest in Michigan. Only 5.7% of the population 16 and older — or 25,713 people — have been fully vaccinated. About 12.7% of Detroiters have received at least one dose.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on removing barriers to access for our most vulnerable to exposure and those at highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said. “These vaccines are the way we are going to end this pandemic and I urge Michiganders to make a plan to get your vaccine when you are eligible.”

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