Mayor Duggan says Detroit is preparing to vaccinate 5,000 people per day

Posted at 10:23 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 22:23:08-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In an appearance Sunday morning with CBS' Face the Nation, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan laid out what vaccine distribution could like in Detroit.

“When we were testing 1,200 people a day, that was a major undertaking," Duggan said. "To get the vaccinations out we’re gonna have to vaccinate 5,000 a day just in Detroit.”

He says he has been on calls with President-elect Joe Biden and mayors across the country.

"Basically right now we’re day and night getting ready for whole scale vaccinations," Duggan said.

It's a major undertaking that he says the country may not be ready for. And it's an even bigger undertaking in Detroit with winter on the way.

“When we were doing the huge testing in the summer, you had good weather," Duggan said. "You can't do whole scale vaccinations in January February and March out in snow storms.”

Instead of large parking lots, he says the city will focus on using TCF Center and parking garages downtown near Ford Field and Comerica Park. However, the process would still take time.

“If we’re able to vaccinate 5,000 a day, we’re still talking three or four months,” Duggan said.

The city’s hospitals are also in full preparation mode. Henry Ford Health System said their hospitals are now approved to distribute a vaccine, and the special freezers for Pfizer and Moderna are all ready to go.

“These have been set and activated at all our hospitals,” said Henry Ford Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adnan Munkarah. "We continue to be in our full preparation as we are awaiting the first batch of vaccine that would be allocated to us.”

Even with the vaccine on the horizon, restrictions likely aren’t going anywhere. After a weekend of holiday travel, experts fear the worst is yet to come.

“We may see a surge upon a surge," Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on ABC This Week on Sunday. "We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just a reality.”

As for who will get the vaccine first, Duggan says he expects the first doses to go to hospital workers, then to first responders like EMTs, firefighters and police officers. After that, he says it’s likely those 65 and older would be the next to receive it.