Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Thursday that the city will be significantly expanding access to the vaccine, including plans that will open the TCF Center garage as a public vaccination site.
Duggan was joined by Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair during a 2 p.m. press conference which you can watch below.
Starting on Monday, Jan. 11, the city will begin scheduling 20,000 appointments for seniors at the TCF Center. The appointments will be based on vaccine supply and the first appointments will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Residents 75 and older and the 65-year-old "good neighbor" drivers will all be first in line for the chance at being vaccinated. The "good neighbor" driver is to encourage people 65 or older to drive their friends who are 75 and older to get vaccinated. If ac car arrives with two people over the age of 65, both will be vaccinated.
Additionally, first responders in Detroit will begin to receive their vaccinations on Friday, including police officers, bus drivers, and other critical workers.
"Just as Detroit was a national model for accessible and efficient testing, we expect to be a national model for distribution of the COVID vaccine," said Mayor Duggan. "We are going to keep ramping up our vaccinations to the maximum extent the supply allows."
The city will start by activating the TCF Center for drive-in vaccinations at the parking garage. Appointments must be made starting on Monday, Jan. 11, and will be available for appointments Monday-Friday between 9 am and 6 pm. To make an appointment, residents who are 75 and older should call 313-230-0505
On Friday, the city will begin administering the vaccine to police officers and bus drivers on a strictly voluntary basis. Police officers will be vaccinated by precinct at the Detroit Fire Department's Walter Harris training facility. DDO personnel will be vaccinated at their respective terminal.
Senior citizen buildings and homeless shelters will start to receive vaccines as early as Friday when the health department vaccinates the residents and staff at Boulevard Manor, the only nursing home in the city without a vaccination plan through a private provider. Starting next week, the health department is partnering with Wayne State University medical, nursing, and pharmacy students to begin vaccinating residents and staff at 60 senior citizen buildings and 29 homeless shelters. The plan is to visit two buildings and one shelter each day and expect to have all the facilities vaccinated by the end of February.
"We know that congregate living can increase frequency of exposure to this virus, which is why we are prioritizing seniors and those experiencing homelessness by conducting vaccination outreach at these facilities across our city," says Denise Fair, chief public health officer, Detroit Health Department. "This strategy is essential to the community’s overall health and I am committed to ensuring the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all who want it, as it will be essential toward helping residents recover from this pandemic."
Who is Eligible to receive the vaccine at TCF?
- Any Detroit resident 75 and older
- Any "good neighbor" 65 and older who drives a 75-year-old to TCF
- Group B essential workers, including K-12 teachers and child care workers
How to schedule an appointment
Starting Monday, Detroit residents age 75 and older and their "good neighbor" drivers 65 and over, will be able to call 313-230-0505 starting Monday to schedule an appointment at the TCF center. The first appointments will take place on Wednesday.
The city recommends that, if possible, eligible members of the same family should jointly schedule and arrive in the same car for a vaccine.
In order to assure the vaccine as the highest effectiveness, you must get a second shot. When residents schedule their appointment, they'll schedule both the first and second round. Call center staff will contact each person the day before their second appointment to remind them.
After receiving their vaccination, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles inside the TCF garage for a period of approximately 15 minutes to make sure they are not experiencing any side effects. Medical staff will be on hand to assist any who may experience any side effects. Appointments should last approximately one hour once the person enters the TCF garage.
Vaccines enter next phase
On Wednesday, Whitmer announced the state is moving to the next phase of distribution of the vaccine.
On Jan. 11, Michigan residents age 65 and older, first responders, frontline state and federal workers, jail staff, and childcare providers will now be permitted to receive the vaccine, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Wednesday.
"I urge all seniors to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and that all Michiganders to make a plan to get vaccinated when it becomes available to you," she added in a press release. "And as always: mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person. We will eliminate this virus together."
The state health department began vaccinating residents in December after the Pfizer treatment was approved.
Since then, tens of thousands of residents have been given the first dose. However, Michigan has lagged behind most states in vaccine rates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. However, on Wednesday, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Michigan had moved into the top 5.
Furthermore, there is skepticism among many people including health care workers and emergency responders about taking the vaccine.
The second phase of vaccine distribution represents the state's gradual bolstering of vaccine administration in a year that health officials hope to inoculate more than 70% of the state's residents over the age of 16.