LANSING, Mich. — On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its latest strategy for getting as many people in Michigan vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Chief Deputy for Health Joneigh Khaldun said addressing barriers to access to the vaccine is crucial.
“We don’t want anyone whether you’re in an urban area or a rural area to have to go more than 20 minutes to get to a vaccination site,” she said.
Khaldun urged Michigan to increase the number of vaccination sites and to provide transportation to these locations for individuals who need assistance.
Spreading accurate information about the safety of the shot is also critical to mass vaccination. Khaldun said she recognizes the hesitation some communities of color have about the vaccine and intends to continue outreach to those groups.
Michigan is capable of vaccinating up to 80,000 people per day but can’t because not enough vaccines are delivered to the state. If the weekly number of shots sent to Michigan remains the same, state health department Director Elizabeth Hertel predicts that vaccinations could stretch into December for people who fall into lower priority categories.
Hertel says Michigan is working closely with the Biden administration to secure additional shots to ramp up the state’s vaccine roll out.
“This is the most massive vaccination effort that anyone has ever undertaken,” said Khaldun. “There are challenges, but we are are committed to working with our partners on thr ground."