MDHHS hopes to have 70% of Michigan adults vaccinated by end of 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services gave an update Friday to their COVID-19 vaccination prioritization once the vaccine is approved and distribution begins. Pfizer's approval from the FDA is expected within days

Michigan health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 18 years of age or older, which is about 5.4 million adults, by the end of 2021.  

MDHHS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS' chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, has already laid out the state's plan for rolling out the vaccine. 

She went into more detail Friday about which groups are being prioritized to get the vaccine. 

  • Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities
  • Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services
  • Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older
  • Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults

MDHHS gave additional details about which groups are in which phase, which you can find here

Vaccination in one phase may not be complete before vaccination in another phase begins, so the phases will likely overlap. 

The timing of the start of vaccination in a phase is dependent on guidance from CDC, the supply of vaccine from the manufacturer, how the vaccine is allocated from the federal level to Michigan and the capacity to administer the vaccine to populations.  

(Photo by Victoria Jones - Pool / Getty Images)

Right now, Michigan officials expect more than 250,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year. 

The federal estimate is Michigan will receive about 84,000 doses in the first allocation of the Pfizer vaccine when it becomes available, which could be within the coming days. If and when the Moderna vaccine is approved, which could be later this month, estimates show Michigan would receive about 173,000 doses in the first allocation. 

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses separated by three or four weeks depending on the manufacturer. Michiganders should receive both doses in order to have full protection from the virus. 

Health officials hope right now that by late spring 2021 the vaccine will be available to the general public. Mild side effects such as low-grade fever, sore arm and fatigue may occur and only indicate that the vaccine is working. 

Michiganders will receive the vaccine with no out-of-pocket costs, however, healthcare providers may bill insurance for administrative costs. 

Meanwhile, MDHHS stresses Michiganders should continue to wear masks, social distance from those not in their household and wash their hands often - even after receiving the vaccine.