Detroit officials begin taking COVID-19 vaccine, although it won't be mandatory

 "We have been waiting for this moment and finally the vaccine is here," said Denise Fair. 

About 2,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Detroit and are being administered to key city employees starting Wednesday. 

"Thirty health department staff received their vaccination," said Fair, the chief public health officer. "They are health department nurses, medical assistants, all of our clinicians."

Employees at Detroit Fire Department also up first on Wednesday to start the vaccination process 

"In partnership with Henry Ford our fire and EMS will be vaccinated," Fair said. "It’s so important for them to feel safe as they go into Detroit residents’ homes."

As the push continues to get city employees vaccinated no one will be required to do so.

"We at the city are not going to mandate the vaccination but we want Detroiters to be equipped so they can make the decisions for themselves and families," Fair said.

Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair gets the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.

Fair and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan keeping a pulse on this virus for months, informing the public and advising them on safety protocols. 

And Fair believes the vaccine can help the community go further in achieving success but she understands fear could be a factor in leading some to not get the vaccine.

On Tuesday she joined the mayor and other officials to lead by example and received the Pfizer vaccine shot a day before other city employees. 

"Right now I feel a little bit of soreness at the injection site but feeling good," she said.  "I’m not a fan of long needles, I don't think anyone is, but it's important for me to do it for my staff, my family and community."

Starting next week, the city’s nearly 500 home health care workers will also start the vaccination process.

"These are people who are in Detroit homes right now taking care of our seniors," she said. 

The general public won’t start to get vaccinated until next year and that’s why continuing to follow safety protocols is crucial, she said. 

City officials say it’s also crucial to not let your guard down during the holidays.

"I think it’s important that we adapt to new traditions such as celebrating via Zoom," Fair said. "We have to remember we are still in the middle of a pandemic and we have to adhere to safety protocols." 

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in the city of Detroit GO HERE.