Detroit launches first school-based COVID-19 vaccination program in Michigan

Detroit is hoping to vaccinate more students against COVID-19 by hosting vaccine clinics at schools.

"Detroit has a 4% childhood vaccine rate, 10 times less than other surrounding cities. This creates an increased chance of positive cases and outbreaks. The significance of providing the vaccine directly to our families and students in their schools, will speed up the process of students resuming in person learning permanently while continuing to implement the highest level of safety precautions," said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

School nurses will administer the vaccine at schools to students and families who provide consent. 

It will open 107 new vaccine sites in the city.

"This particular virus was hurting Black communities and communities of color more than others," said Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilcrist. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is providing a $100,000 grant to help set up mobile vaccine clinics in the district as part of this initiative. 

"Assisting communities by supporting projects that give families easier access to vaccines in the neighborhoods where people work, live and go to school is critical to our current COVID-19 response and our path forward," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. "MDHHS has helped school districts across the state set up pop-up school vaccination clinics, but Detroit Public Schools Community District is the first school district in the state that has enrolled as an ongoing COVID-19 provider site and establishing immunization clinics in their district." 

To encourage vaccination, MDHHS is also providing $25 gift cards to CVS to each family with a child who participates in the program. More than 2,000 gift cards will be handed out while supplies last. 

One of the goals is to host clinics for both vaccine doses in every school by the end of this school year

Pilot clinics will be held at these schools:

  • A.L. Holmes
  • Coleman A. Young
  • Earhart
  • Mumford
  • Osborn
  • Southeastern