State vaccination access opens up in 'race against COVID-19 variants'

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Crawley and her 19-year-old sister Annie are taking a big step forward as the state expands access to the COVID-19 vaccines to Michiganders for ages 16 and up.

"It’s incredible to keep my family safe along with going to school not be nervous to do things for once," said Lucy. 

"I’m really proud to say it one of the first people too," said Annie. "Our age got the vaccine and I have been waiting for it."

It was a family affair as the teens’ parents also got vaccinated at Ford Field in Detroit on Monday. 

Their mother Carrie said that her daughters got their appointments before she and her husband did. 

State officials say this expanded access is a direct reflection of more vaccines coming into the state.

But as the state expands access to a younger population, teens may not be able to access an appointment as quickly as the Crawley sisters did.

"A number of sites are prioritizing doses to those who are most vulnerable and the most severely impacted by the disease," said Kerry Ebersole,  Protect Michigan Commission director.

But as Michigan sees an increase in the infection rate among its younger population, the state wants this group of people to remain adamant about signing up for the vaccine, despite having to wait.

"Get on a list to get that appointment made, we really are encouraging vaccinations," said Carolyn Wilson, Beaumont Health CEO. "If you were 16 to 49 and (are healthy) you might have to wait a couple of weeks." 

You should also know what vaccine the site is offering. Currently, teens that are 16 and 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.

And as more and more people are vaccinated the state believes that’s how we move forward together.

Vaccinations at Ford Field.

Vaccinations at Ford Field.

"We are very much taking this race against the variants seriously," Ebersole said. "And as we all know, the more vaccines we get in, the more providers have access points which makes it as easy as possible to get that vaccine."

Beaumont online resources:

  • Getting your COVID-19 vaccine HERE.
  • Sign up for a vaccine at Beaumont HERE.
  • COVID-19 vaccine FAQs HERE.
  • Call the Beaumont COVID-19 coronavirus hotline at 1-800-592-4784