Ford Field selected as mass vaccine site; will service southeast Michigan

Michigan has been selected as the state to host the country's first mass vaccination sites after President Joe Biden picked Ford Field in Detroit as a base of operations.

The regional community vaccination site will have the capacity of distributing 6,000 doses a day for the next eight weeks, beginning March 24. 

Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions play, hasn't been used as a regular facility for administering vaccine doses - that location has been at the TCF Center. But with the state's goal of covering 70% of the adults in the state by the end of the year, it was picked by the CDC as a prime location to roll out the federal government's pilot program.

Operations will run from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week. It is intended to serve all of Southeast Michigan. Several agencies will manage the facility, with the state of Michigan spearheading the effort with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Wayne County, the City of Detroit, Ford Field, Meijer, Henry Ford Health Systems, and the Lions.

"I want to thank President Biden and FEMA for the opportunity to build one of the nation’s first community vaccination sites to service the entire Southeast Michigan region," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a statement. "Over one million Michiganders of all races have already been safely vaccinated, and this site will help us to reach our goal of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders who are 16 years or older more quickly."

Of the 6,000 doses that will be administered daily, 5,000 will be onsite and another 1,000 wll be through the mobile operation.

On Thursday, Biden outlined a plan to get every American eligible for a vaccine by May. He also set a deadline of July 4 for a return to normalcy.

So far, about 20% of the state has been fully vaccinated

The mass vaccination site will be run by FEMA. A release from the governor's office says that vaccine doses will be administered based on the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index that helps prioritize resources for vulnerable populations. 

For the first three weeks of the operation, the Pfizer vaccine option will be offered. It wasn't said what options will be available after that. Any Michigan resident that is eligible to receive the vaccine may schedule an appointment. 

Specific instructions on how to book an appointment haven't been released yet. Those details will be offered in the coming days. They'll be offered at no cost and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the center. 

RELATED: Michigan says all adults will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 5

"This mass vaccination site will accelerate Michigan’s efforts to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

On Friday, the state announced that every Michigan adult will be eligible for a vaccine starting April 5.