(WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Duggan is ramping up efforts to get more Detroit seniors 65+ vaccinated against COVID-19.
In addition to the TCF Center accepting appointments for eligible residents, residents over the age of 65 can now get a lift to the center for $2 round trip. If eligible residents can not afford the $2, they will be driven for free, according to Duggan. The ride service was announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
Mayor Duggan also announced events called "Senior Saturdays," where seniors will be able to get vaccinated at area churches over the next four Saturdays.
To start, the vaccination fairs will be held at Fellowship Chapel and Second Ebenezer churches. Up to 500 vaccinations will be scheduled at each location each day.
Seniors can call 313-230-0505 between 9AM and 8PM, Monday-Friday, to schedule an appointment either at the TCF Center or one of the churches. They can also use that phone number to book a ride to the center as they book the appointment. Rides must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance of an appointment.
“No one should miss being vaccinated due to lack of transportation,” said Mayor Duggan in a press release. “Our goal is to have the most accessible vaccine program in the country, just as we had the most accessible testing program in the county.”
The city said they are also partnering with two Meijer stores in Detroit to give out 2,500 doses to customers and staff this week.
Mayor Duggan said he chose to expand accessibility instead of eligibility because of sobering city-data. Of the 1,800 deaths in Detroit, over 70% are over the age of 65.
In just the last two weeks, 15 of the 16 COVID-related deaths in Detroit were people over 65.
"I have to ask the people of the city, you know someone who is over 65, tell them how important this is," said Mayor Duggan.
Those currently eligible to book an appointment at the TCF:
- Food Service Workers, including grocery store, restaurant, meat packing and food and beverage handling employees living or working in Detroit
- Security guards and janitors living or working in Detroit
- Any resident of the City of Detroit who is age 65 or older (born in 1955 or before)
- K-12 teachers and support staff and day care workers
- 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 (Employees working from home are not eligible at this time)
- State and Federal Law enforcement working in Detroit
- Members of the Clergy interacting with members of their congregation
- Funeral Home/mortuary employees working in Detroit
- Paid and unpaid persons in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials working in Detroit