Michigan expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to younger adults beginning Monday
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Younger adults in Michigan will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expanding eligibility to include anyone age 50 and older with a chronic medical condition or disability on March 8. Caregivers and guardians of children with special needs also will be eligible Monday.
Two weeks later, all adults age 50 and older will be eligible for the vaccine on March 22 regardless of whether they have a medical condition.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the expansion comes after President Joe Biden announced increased production of the three COVID-19 vaccines on the market, which he said will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of May.
The vaccine currently is available to all health care workers with direct contact to patients, anyone age 65 or older and workers in critical occupations like teachers and first responders. State health officials say 40% of Michiganders age 65 or older have received the vaccine as of Wednesday.
“The more people we can get the safe and effective vaccine, the faster we can return to a sense of normalcy,” said Whitmer. “I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines to protect you, your family and your community.”
Michigan already has administered 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as of Tuesday.
“We are pleased to expand eligibility for more people to get vaccinated as we continue to focus on our most vulnerable and those at highest risk of severe illness due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We are well on our way to vaccinating 70% of Michiganders age 16 and up.”
She encouraged Michiganders to accept the first vaccine available to them rather than waiting for a specific manufacturer. All COVID-19 vaccines are no charge for everyone regardless of health insurance or income status.
Everyone newly eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine next week should contact their local health department or a hospital to learn about the registration process. Meijer and Rite Aid also are offering the vaccine. People without access to a computer or the internet can call 211 for vaccine registration information.
Long wait lists for the vaccine are continuing and likely will persist with the eligibility expansion next week, so state health officials urge patience for everyone. Everyone who wants to receive the vaccine will have a dose available to them this year, Khaldun said.
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