LANSING — More than 37,000 frontline healthcare workers have now received a COVID-19 vaccination shot in the state, the state’s health department announced on Wednesday.
The immunizations of healthcare workers is a common strategy across the U.S., as the first doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, and later Moderna’s vaccine, rolled out this month. Priorities are given to healthcare workers, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, in the first phase of immunizations in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has also updated prioritization guidance for COVID-19 vaccination administration for essential workers and those at high risk of severe infection.
The full priority document can be found on the state’s website.
MDHHS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. CDC recommendations are based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the federal advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the US.
The ACIP updated its recommendations on Saturday, Dec. 20 regarding Phases 1b and 1c, including essential workers and those at high risk of severe infection.
- Phase 1: Paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents in long term care facilities.
- Phase 1B: Persons 75 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.
- Phase 1C: Individuals 16 years of age or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.
- Phase 2: Individuals 16 years of age or older.
Michigan health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16, about 5.6 million people, by the end of 2021
These phases are subject to change. Vaccinations in one phase may not be complete before vaccinations in another phase begins. There may be vaccination of individuals in different phases that occur simultaneously.
The state says the timing of the start of vaccination in a phase is dependent on the supply of vaccine from the manufacturer, how vaccine is allocated from the federal level to Michigan and the capacity to administer the vaccine to populations.
More than 231,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to local health departments and hospitals across the state with more than 120,000 additional doses expected next week. Detroit has received over 16,000 of these vaccines, with more than 10,000 distributed in the rest of Wayne County, as of Tuesday.
Most people who have received the vaccine so far are between the ages of 30 and 39 and are predominately female identifying.
This data is being tracked on the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, which includes information on the number of providers enrolled to provide the vaccine and doses administered.
Michigan health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16, about 5.6 million people, by the end of 2021. There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine; however, healthcare providers may bill insurance for administrative costs.
The COVID-19 vaccine will require two doses, separated by three or four weeks depending on the manufacturer. People must receive both doses in order to have full protection from the virus. Those who receive the vaccine may experience mild side effects such as low-grade fever, sore arm and general discomfort, which indicate that the vaccine is working. The state maintains a robust state and national process for tracking vaccines and reporting side effects.