The county’s first shipment of the new vaccine arrived as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that people 50 and older with preexisting conditions will be eligible to receive vaccinations.
"I can tell you one population that I think is going to be really helpful with is our homebound seniors who can't get to one of our sites currently," said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter discusses COVID-19 vaccines on March 3, 2021.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the United States and the first to only require one shot.
The Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee reviewed the safety of the vaccine and approved it for emergency use Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control Advisory panel recommended the vaccine for people 18 and older on Sunday.
While the new vaccine is another positive step toward beating the pandemic, there is still a long way to go.
"I want people to understand even as eligibility opens up, we are still taking names on the save your spot list. We still have some work to do. We have 500,000 people on our waiting list," Coulter said. "The frustration for us in Oakland County is just getting more doses. We could do more if we had more doses and that's why today's news is such great news."
Oakland County currently leads the state in doses administered. It has given 315,039 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to residents as of Monday.
"When we make an appointment please when you're offered the ability to get the vaccine, just get the vaccine. Get vaccinated. That's the only way we're going to end this pandemic," said Dr. Russel Faust, the medical director of the Oakland County Health Division.
Oakland County is hosting 15 COVID-19 vaccination clinics by appointment only in Holly, Madison Heights, Novi, Pontiac, Rochester, Southfield, Waterford, and West Bloomfield. Public health nurses are administering second doses at seven long-term care centers.
If you are eligible to receive a vaccine now, you can schedule your appointment here.