DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan received a COVID-19 vaccine and outlined the city's vaccine deployment plan in a press conference Tuesday.
The city received its first doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday. The plan includes vaccinations for frontline health department staff, fire/EMS personnel, home health workers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Mayor Duggan said while he believes getting vaccinated is the right thing to do, there will not be a mandate.
“We can’t have a conversation about whether to take a vaccine from the federal government without acknowledging the history of racism that we’ve had in the health care system,” said Duggan.
As an example, the mayor referenced the Tuskegee Study from 1932 to 1972 in which the federal government purposely withheld syphilis treatment from a group of Black men.
"This is something very much in the consciousness of many Detroiters," said Duggan. "There is a higher level of distrust."
By getting the COVID-19 vaccine during the press conference, Duggan is hoping Detroit leaders can lead by a positive example and encourage the community to get vaccinated when the time comes.
Dr. Audrey Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Medical Center, who recently received the vaccine, was at the press conference and said the experience was no different than getting her flu shot. Four days in, she said she has just had some soreness in her arm. She said she has not heard of any adverse reactions outside of the arm soreness for the 1,500 DMC team members and providers who have received the vaccine.
Dr. Gregory said she recognizes the concerns but asks everyone to trust the science and make the decision for their loved ones and the entire community.
"The COVID-19 vaccine is one more thing in our toolkit," said Dr. Gregory.
The mayor was also joined by Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair and Henry Ford Health System President Wright Lassiter, who also received the vaccine during the press conference.
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