Detroit expands vaccinations with door-knock program in battle against COVID-19

It’s been nearly a year since the Covid vaccine became available in Detroit. First responders, medical workers, and people 65 and older were among those who got the green light to get their shots first.

But as the one-year mark nears, the vaccine is now available to most including kids as young as 5 years old.

"We collectively have worked together to make sure all Detroiters have the opportunity to get their vaccine," said Denise Fair Razo, chief public health officer, Detroit.

Detroiters can now go just about anywhere in the city and find access to the Covid vaccine.

"So whether you’re in a church, school, a bar, or a grocery store, you can get your vaccine," she said.

But despite the easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Detroiters are not responding the way officials would like.

"It’s been a year, so it’s no longer appropriate or even acceptable to procrastinate," Fair Razo said.

The vaccination rate in Detroit provides a picture of the response rate.

"We are not where we need to be," she said. "Right now we are at 44 percent, our goal is to get to 70 percent community immunity, and we’re not there yet."

Vaccine hesitancy is a major obstacle, Fair Razo said.

"Social media is a part of the problem - there is a lot of misinformation. We want to make sure we’re providing the facts so that people can get informed," she said.

So despite efforts to educate and increase accessibility to the vaccine, the city is working on more ways to get the vaccine to residents. It is expanding a program that was initially for homebound residents, to now include all residents.

"We can come directly to them to get their vaccines," she said. "That’s one of our new approaches - and we’re vaccinating about 200 people a day, right in their own home."

Part of the continued approach to get more Detroiters vaccinated is the door-knock program.

"At this point, I think we’ve not done almost 400,000 Detroiters homes to say have you heard about this life-saving vaccine," Fair Razo said.

So as the new year approaches, the fight to get more Detroiters vaccinated, continues.

"We’re not there yet, but we are headed in the right direction," she said. "We’re all in this together and being unvaccinated has consequences for results."

For more information, head to the city's COVID-19 vaccine information page HERE.