DETROIT (AP) - Michigan announced Friday that all residents age 16 and up will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, nearly a month before the May 1 date pledged by President Joe Biden.
People age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities will qualify starting March 22, when 50- to 64-year-olds can begin getting shots under a previous announcement. Two days later, March 24, a federally selected regional mass vaccination site will open at Detroit's Ford Field to administer an additional 6,000 doses a day for two months.
"The safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to protect you, your family and others from the virus," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. "It will help the country get back to normal and help the economy."
The state has been changing eligibility for who can receive the vaccine as supplies increase and more people receive the vaccine.
The U.S. is expecting to have enough doses for adults by the end of May, but Biden has warned the process of actually administering those doses will take time. As of Wednesday, about 22% of Michigan's 16-plus population had been fully or partially vaccinated.
"Over 2.7 million doses of the safe and effective COVID vaccines have been administered in Michigan, and we are well on our way to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders age 16 and up," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS.
The state health department said it may take "several weeks" beyond April 5 for everyone who wants the vaccine to get an appointment.