Detroit mayor says city got far fewer vaccines than expected

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 19:06:21-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says there has been confusion between the federal government and the state. The result is a shortage of vaccines, which could impact when some people get their second shot.

Here’s what happened. On January 12, the Trump administration announced it would stop holding back COVID-19 second doses in reserve. Some states under both democratic and republican took this to mean they would see an increase in the supply of Pfizer vaccines, but that isn’t the case.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he never meant there were more being held back than were about to be shipped anyway. States and the feds have argued over whether the confusion is about politics or a miscommunication.

“This is what everybody is dealing with. The State of Michigan had a shortfall of about 50,000 vaccines from what they said. Which means everybody is having a tough time this week. In Detroit, we expected to get 9,000 to 10,000 this week. We got 6,000,” said Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor.

Mayor Duggan says everyone who has a first appointment this week will still get a vaccine. However, some will get a Moderna vaccine instead of a Pfizer vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine requires the second dose be given four weeks after the first. The Pfizer vaccine requires the second dose three weeks after the first. Some second appointments will as a result have to be rescheduled.

The mayor says do that at your first shot appointment.

“All you have to do is show up at your regularly scheduled time and we will reschedule you on the spot,” said Mayor Duggan.

The city has scheduled 12,000 appointments at the TCF Center Vaccination site.

Right now any resident of the City of Detroit who is age 70 or older is eligible, “good neighbors” who drive people in the over-70 age group to TCF can also get vaccinated at the same time, if they are 65 or older, K-12 and daycare workers who live or work in the city, U.S. Post Office Employees who live or work in Detroit, Employees of the City of Detroit or city-related agencies who are working from their regular job site, and federal and state law enforcement officials who live or work in the city are eligible to get vaccinated at TCF.

The city’s health department continues to vaccinate people at senior centers and homeless shelters.

The mayor says they can vaccinate thousands more every week - if they can just get more vaccines.

“We’re running at a rate where we are using these vaccines probably within about 72 hours of receiving them. It is about as efficient of an operation as you are going to see,” said Duggan.

Eligible residents can call 313-230-0505 between 9 AM and 8 PM, Monday-Friday to make an appointment. You must have an appointment to get vaccinated.

Detailed information on the TCF testing site is available at [].

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