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MDHHS releases list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine administration

vaccine
Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 18:16:39-05

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued a list of priority groups for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The news release comes on the heels of an FDA panel approving emergency use for the vaccine, and as the FDA is expected to approve the use either Friday or Saturday.

“The COVID-19 vaccine will help all our communities eliminate the virus,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health in a news release. “Because initial allocations of vaccine will be limited, we must prioritize how the vaccine will be distributed across the state and will use the guidance and principles outlined by the CDC and national experts. We want every adult to be planning now for how they will get their vaccine once it becomes available to them.”

The priority groups follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. They will be done in a phased approach "with an emphasis on both ensuring the continuing functioning of the health care system and essential services in the community and protecting people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness."

According to the state, those phases are:

  • 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 people 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 adults.

It is important to note that vaccination in one phase may not be complete before vaccination in another phase begins. Vaccination in these phases will likely overlap.

Vaccine distribution will roll out over a series of weeks, and current estimates are that by late Spring 2021 enough vaccine will be available for everyone who is recommended to receive it.

There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine, however, healthcare providers may bill insurance for administrative costs.

Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.

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