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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Here's what lawmakers are planning for the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan

Posted at 8:54 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 08:54:05-05

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available as soon as this month, but we still don’t have an exact roll-out date.

In Wayne County alone, there have been more than 45,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,500 deaths. Now the county is preparing for an eventual vaccine. It already has one ultra-low temperature freezer to store it, and it ordered another with CARES ACT money, which has yet to arrive.

Senator Dale Zorn is now asking the CDC to vaccinate Michigan first.

For most Michiganders, it won’t be widely available for months, but it’s expected some could get it before the new year.

“The vaccine is going to make a difference, slowly over time," said Dave Spivey, Vice President at Trinity Health Michigan. "But it’s going to come to the vulnerable and frontline workers here in mid-December on into January.”

State Senator Dale Zorn wrote this resolution, which the Senate approved Thursday. It’s asking the CDC to prioritize Michigan for access to Pfizer's vaccine, which it says is 95 percent effective.

"I'm asking that Michigan be a part of that model program," said Sen. Zorn.

Zorn justifies the request due to the toll the virus has taken on people in the state, with metro Detroit being one of the hardest-hit areas in the country when the pandemic first started. Since then, almost 10,000 Michiganders have died.

Joining 7 Action News on 7 UpFront Thursday night, infectious disease expert Dr. Monto says once available, the vaccine will be safe.

"There are side effects. A lot of people have aching in their arm, maybe not feeling well or a day, a day and a half," Dr. Arnold Monto said. "These are acceptable side effects, given the level of protection we get."

The company was expected to ship 100 million doses around the world. But Thursday, it cut that number in half due to raw materials from early production not meeting its standards.

To ease concerns once the vaccine is here, former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton said they’d get a vaccine on-camera. Dr. Monto says he will get vaccinated too.

“It’s our only way except to wait until most people are infected, and we don’t want to do that.”

Both Pfizer and Moderna have filed for emergency use authorization from the FDA. On the Pfizer front, in just six days there will be an advisory panel, which Dr. Monto is a part of, where the FDA will ask the panel’s input on that emergency use.