LANSING — The state of Michigan has expanded its COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Starting immediately, mortuary services workers can get a shot as part of the CDC recommended group 1A.
On March 1, workers in food processing and agricultural settings, about 79,000 Michiganders, will be able to get vaccinations.
Additionally, 41 federally qualified health centers across the state will begin receiving vaccine allocations to help vaccinate individuals age 65 and older. A full list of these health centers is available here.
The state’s health department said these community health centers are located in medically underserved areas to provide high-quality, affordable and comprehensive medical services to everyone, “regardless of who they are, where they come from or their ability to pay.” The effort is part of a broader push to increase vaccine access and equity and to bring vaccines to vulnerable populations.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced the state’s strategy to get 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and older vaccinated as quickly as possible. To do so, the state government is drawing on the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations and attempting to increase transparency and accurate and frequent public communications to build trust.
“Workers in higher risk agricultural settings have been adversely impacted by this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We also know that we need to remove barriers to vaccine access for our most vulnerable individuals in Michigan, including those with disabilities, lower income and racial and ethnic minorities.
“These steps will allow our federally qualified health centers across the state to begin vaccinating and will prioritize vaccine allocation to partnerships and providers who are removing barriers to access. This strategy is important as we move forward with our goal to equitably vaccinate 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and over as quickly as possible.”
More information on how to sign up for a vaccine can be found on the state’s website at: Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine
Updated vaccine prioritization guidance can also be found on the vaccine website.
Currently people over 65 are eligible to be vaccinated across the state, in addition to the previous 1A healthcare workers. Now, providers with specific plans to remove barriers to access across the state will also be allowed to request vaccine for people age 60 and up.
As of Monday, 1.6 million vaccines have been administered in Michigan, while 2.2 million have been shipped. Almost 500,000 of those distributed vaccines have been transferred to federal programs.