MICHIGAN — The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived at various Michigan hospitals this week, as immunization began in hard-hit epicenters of the pandemic in places like Wayne County.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun joined several frontline health care workers at Henry Ford Health System hospitals in getting the shot. Besides being the state’s point person on the pandemic, Khaldun is an emergency medicine physician at the hospital system.
Each of Henry Ford’s five hospitals received 975 doses of the vaccine early Thursday morning. Nearly 20 frontline doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists got immunized on Thursday. 4,700 more are expected to be immunized by the end of the year.
The trend follows the state’s priorities in getting health care workers, who are often in contact with COVID-19 patients, to be immunized in the beginning “phase” of immunizations, as the mRNA vaccines began to roll out earlier this week.
Beaumont Health got its first vaccines on Tuesday, a shipment of 975 initial doses. Garden City Hospital has also received its initial doses.
Frontline health care workers at two Michigan hospitals were the first people to receive the new COVID-19 vaccines on Monday. Marc McClelland, pulmonary and critical care physician, 46, of Ada, was among the first people to receive the vaccine in the state, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.
“To me this is a day of hope,” McClelland said.
Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor also administered vaccines on Monday.
Beth Cranson at Spectrum told The Arab American News that all five of the recipients from Monday had very minor side effects.
“They reported soreness at injection site, a couple said they had a mild headache and one said he had chills for about an hour or so later in the day of the injection,” she said.
The Wayne County Public Health Division is set to administer and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers on Friday morning at the Wayne County Health Administration Building.
1,950 doses of the vaccine arrived in Wayne County Thursday morning. The county is not sure of the new allotment of vaccines from the state until it receives it. At this time, the county has not been made aware of any severe adverse reactions to the vaccine from government or federal health authorities.
Allergies to vaccines can occur. Hospitals and health centers are equipped with epinephrin and monitor recipients for allergic reactions. No fatality from this complication has been reported in the U.S. or globally.
“MDHHS is not aware of any serious adverse side effects or allergic reactions at this time,” said Angela Minicuci of MDHHS. “As a reminder, we expect people who get the vaccine may have mild side effects, like a sore arm, fever, or fatigue. That is a sign the vaccine is working. People who are vaccinated are encouraged to enroll in the national V-SAFE program so that any adverse reactions can be tracked at the national level.”
The vaccine will roll out in phases, with overlap expected in between phases.
- Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.
- Phase 1C includes individuals age 16 years or older who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
- Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all individuals aged 16 years or older (likely to occur next spring).