(WXYZ) — Now that all Michiganders 16 and over are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is launching efforts to expand access across the state.
“Vaccinations are the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and end this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health in a news release. “We are committed to making vaccine accessibility simple and equitable, which is why we are mobilizing efforts to bring vaccines to college students, and to those who are most vulnerable or do not have access to transportation. These efforts will help us reach our goal of vaccinating at least 70% of Michiganders age 16 and up as quickly as possible.”
In the first of two programs announced Thursday, the state says they are partnering with universities and colleges across Michigan to distribute the vaccine to their communities. Local health departments associated with the participating schools will receive shipments of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccination.
"Vaccinating this group of the population right now makes a lot of sense as thousands of college and university students near the end of their academic year and are preparing to travel back home, start new jobs, take summer vacations, and interact with their family and friends,” said Northern Michigan University president Fritz Erickson in a news release. “We appreciate this initiative by the state to keep college students safe. This effort will protect not only the age group that is now seeing a higher rate of infection than before, but it protects communities and families across the state from spread of the virus due to the mass movement of college students that takes place over the next few weeks."
The 26 participating schools are:
- Andrews University
- Albion College
- Central Michigan University
- College for Creative Studies
- University of Michigan-Detroit
- Ferris State University
- University of Michigan-Flint
- Michigan State University
- Western Michigan University
- Kalamazoo College
- Davenport University
- Calvin University
- Cornerstone University
- Adrian College
- Northern Michigan University
- Alma College
- Oakland University
- Lawrence Technological University
- Rochester University
- Grand Valley State University
- Saginaw Valley State University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Concordia University Ann Arbor
- University of Michigan
- Wayne State University
- Finlandia University
As a second measure to increase access to vaccinations, the state is also expanding mobile clinics in both Detroit and Hamtramck, beginning April 14. These clinics will be able to vaccinate up to 500 residents per day. In addition, they will also be able to assist community members to register for vaccinations at Ford Field.
“Given the rise in cases and hospitalizations, now more than ever, it is important to bring the vaccine where people are, right in their neighborhood,” said Denise Fair, chief public health officer at the Detroit Health Department in a news release. “We will be offering even more opportunities to provide vaccines to our community. We are continuing to do everything we can to make it as accessible as possible for Detroiters to get vaccinated. If it means going to neighborhoods to make it even easier, that is what we will do.”
Mobile Clinic operations will take place at the following locations:
- Detroit Job Corps Center, 11801 Woodrow Wilson St., Detroit
- Shrine of Black Madonna, 7625 Linwood St., Detroit
- Historic King Solomon Church, 6100 14th, Detroit
- Salvation Army Harbor Light, 3737 Lawton St., Detroit
- Ernst T. Ford Field Rec. Center, 10 Pitkin St., Detroit
- Wings of Love, 17133 John R St., Detroit
- Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, 9000 Woodward, Detroit
- Greater New Mt. Moriah, 586 Owen St., Detroit
- YPAC/YALA, 2112 Holbrook St., Hamtramck
- Kabob House, 11405 Contant St., Hamtramck
- Russell Street Baptist Church, 8700 Chrysler Dr., Detroit
- Hyacinth Church, 3151 Farnsworth St., Detroit (Tentative)
- New Greater Zion Hill MBC, 18891 St. Louis St., Detroit
- Perfecting Church, 7616 Nevada, Detroit
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