Some in Michigan crossing county lines in hopes of receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 2:30 PM, Feb 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 12:52:25-05

(WXYZ) — Some desperate for a dose are crossing lines and county hopping for the coveted COVID-19 vaccine.

The state sets the eligibility group, then it is up to the hospitals and clinics and counties to decide how to get shots in arms. Some are willing to take a road trip in a quest for immunity.

“The furthest we had was someone driving from Lansing … to get a dose from Wayne County,” says Mouhanad Hammami, Wayne County’s chief health strategist.

That vaccine seeker was turned away because Wayne County has a long waitlist and strict guidelines in place, but not all counties do.

“I would suspect there are people that would cross county lines because they believe there may be more vaccines or the guidelines are more relaxed,” Hammami said.

Kara O’Conner is a teacher and she has heard of people county hopping.

“In fact, my coworker was going to drive to the U.P. to get hers,” says O’Conner.

The state estimates it could be mid summer before all Michigan educators are vaccinated. For some, that’s too long to wait.

“She’s over 65 and she really wants it,” says O’Conner.

That teacher was willing to drive all the way to the Upper Peninsula for a shot at getting a shot.

“Someone sent her a link and they had an appointment, so they were on their way,” says O’Conner.

Some teachers are crossing international borders, but in that case, it is part of Wayne County’s plan to make schools safe.

“Currently, it’s not where you live, it’s where you work. For example, teachers, if it’s a school in Wayne County, we are vaccinating some of the Canadian teachers that work in Wayne County. That’s something that, this is our policy,” says Hammami.

In metro Detroit, each county is asking for patience as they vaccinate as many people as they can with the shipments they are receiving.

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