COVID-19 boosters in Metro Detroit, toddler drowns in Warren, a school bus driver shortage

The next phase of Michigan's efforts against COVID-19 begins this week as Metro Detroit's biggest counties will start taking appointments for booster shots for people with compromised immune systems.

Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties are all offering a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to anyone who has already completed their 2-shot series already. The FDA granted approval to the booster shot following evidence of the vaccine's declining effectiveness for slowing the spread of the virus.

It won't be long before booster shots are recommended for all fully vaccinated residents. As counties figure out the best way to roll out those vaccines, they'll be using existing infrastructure to start administering extra doses this week.

Wayne County

Wayne County says it will be offering booster shots for free to all eligible residents at all Wayne-County sponsored vaccine sites. 

"Boosters for immunocompromised residents are another safe and effective tool to help our residents stay safe from COVID-19," Executive Warren Evans said. "The best way to end this pandemic is for all eligible residents to get vaccinated and wear masks in public indoor spaces. Both actions are proven ways to slow the spread of COVID-19."

Walk-in vaccinations are available to residents at Wayne County clinics for both initial shots and boosters. Appointments, as well as arrangements for in-home boosters for homebound residents, can be made by calling 1-866-610-3885 or text "WAYNE VAX" to 48355.

Those who are seeking a vaccine can get the Pfizer vaccine at the following locations:

  • Henry Ford Centennial Library, Dearborn; Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Maplewood Community Center, Garden City; Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Wayne County Community College - Belleville and Taylor campuses; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Flat Rock Community Center; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Lincoln Park Community Center; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The Moderna vaccine is available here:

  • Wayne County Community College - Harper Woods Campus; Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Schoolcraft College, Livonia; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Macomb County

Macomb County is operating with similar public health guidance and plans to offer booster shot administrations. 

The county is making third dose vaccine appointments available during the regularly scheduled hours where vaccines from the 2-shot series are also available. 

That includes clinics at the Verkuilen Building in Clinton Township and the Southwest Center in Warren. 

Individuals that need to make an appointment for a third dose can go here to set things up. 

If someone needs help scheduling an appointment or they need transportation assistance, they can call SMART at 586-421-6579.

Oakland County

The Oakland County health department got started on offering booster vaccines last week, administering third dose shots at the North Oakland Health Center in Pontiac and the South Oakland Health Center in Southfield. 

Additionally, most local pharmacies and doctor's offices are now offering vaccines to both walk-ins and reservations. An entire list of what is open and when they're offering shots can be found here.

Anyone who needs to call to set up an appointment can access a call center at 1-800-848-5522 between 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

April freeze dampens Michigan apple harvest

A spring freeze will likely put a fall chill on the size of Michigan's apple harvest. The state is expected to produce 18.25 million bushels of apples this year, down from 22 million in 2020, the Michigan Apple Committee reported, citing a forecast from an industry trade show in Chicago.

Some growing areas in April had temperatures in the 20-degree range, said Diane Smith, executive director of the committee.

"Even with frost protection tools and the apple trees’ natural defense mechanisms, some of the fruit was lost. However, there will still be plenty of apples for consumers to enjoy this fall," Smith said.

There are more than 14 million apple trees in commercial production at hundreds of Michigan farms, especially in western Michigan and the northern Lower Peninsula. The state typically ranks third in the U.S. in apple production. "When apple trees produce a smaller crop, energy is stored and directed toward production for the next crop," Smith said. "The industry is hopeful we’ll see a larger crop next year."

Pedestrian fatally struck on I-96

Michigan State Police closed I-96 after a man was fatally struck by a vehicle early Monday morning. 

According to a driver who called the police, he had been traveled eastbound in the center of the express lanes when he saw someone standing in the middle lane. The driver attempted to stop but was unable to avoid striking the male. 

Troopers arrived around 2:35 a.m. where they located a Mercury Mariner parked on the right shoulder and a deceased male on the shoulder near the vehicle.

Right now, police don't suspect any alcohol or drugs to have been a factor. Troopers did shut down the highway and used a fingerprint scanner that identified the victim as a 26-year-old white man. They're currently trying to locate his family.

Toddler drowns in Warren

A little boy died Sunday after Warren police said he drowned in his family's above-ground swimming pool. 

According to police commissioner Bill Dwyer, the toddler died Sunday afternoon at a home on Bernice Avenue, off of Schoenherr. 

Louise Paul, a neighbor that sees kids all around the subdivision playing said the police had shut down the intersection for emergency services to come for the little boy. 

Police did not confirm any other details for the story. 

Northern Michigan man accused of putting child's head in toilet and flushing it as punishment

A Traverse City man is facing charges after his son alleged that he would handcuff him then put his head in the toilet and flush it as a punishment.

The child told about the punishment during an interview at the Child Advocacy Center in Traverse City on Aug. 11.

The father, Tyler Frederick Briegel, 28, and other people in the household were interviewed before a report was submitted to the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's Office.

A warrant was authorized Aug. 16, and Briegel was arrested during a traffic stop two days later. He was charged with second-degree child abuse and given a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.

What else we're watching

  1. James Craig is expected to speak with reporters Monday at a location in Birmingham where he and other members of law enforcement will convene a Law Enforcement Action Team meeting. It'll be the first campaign move the former police chief since he announced an exploratory committee in an expected run for governor.
  2. The Protect Michigan Commission is expected to announce the winner of the $2 million vaccine lottery prize Monday at 9:30 a.m. There was a slight delay in getting the announcement prepared.
  3. Miguel Cabrera finally pulled off a career milestone Sunday when he scored his 500th home run during an away game against the Toronto Blue Jays. He's the 28th player in MLB history to pull off the feat.
  4. Vaccine mandates are worrying parts of the health care industry and long term health care facilities who staff may not be vaccinated over fears it could create a giant staffing shortage. In Michigan, nursing home workers have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
  5. The next discussion that leaders are expected to have involving Afghanistan is what to do about settling refugees in the U.S. The country is still in the middle of evacuating thousands of sympathetic citizens of the leaderless country.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

The next week will be about as hot and humid as the past several days have been in Metro Detroit with temperatures expected to reach the mid-to-high 80s every day. 

Bus driver shortages are latest challenge hitting US schools

A Montana school district is dangling $4,000 bonuses and inviting people to test drive big yellow school buses in hopes of enticing them to take a job that schools are struggling to fill as kids return to in-person classes.

A Delaware school district offered to pay parents $700 to take care of their own transportation, and a Pittsburgh district delayed the start of classes and said hundreds of more children would have to walk to school. Schools across the U.S. are offering hiring bonuses, providing the training needed to get a commercial driver’s license and increasing hourly pay to attract more drivers.

The shortage of bus drivers is complicating the start of a school year already besieged by the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, contentious disagreement over masking requirements, and the challenge of catching up on educational ground lost as the pandemic raged last year.