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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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State to expand vaccine eligibility to residents 50+ with pre-existing conditions today

Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 09:27:44-05

(WXYZ) — Michiganders 50 years or older with a pre-existing condition will be eligible for vaccines beginning March 8, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said during a media event Wednesday.

MDHHS is moving forward with the vaccination of Michiganders age 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs. Beginning Monday, March 22, vaccine eligibility will again expand to include all Michiganders 50 and older.

“The more people we can get the safe and effective vaccine, the faster we can return to a sense of normalcy,” Whitmer said in a press release. “I urge all eligible Michiganders to get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines to protect you, your family and your community. We’ve already administered over 2.3 million doses to Michiganders of all races and backgrounds, and yesterday’s announcement that our national supply will be enough to protect all Americans by the end of May is incredible news. And as always: mask up, practice safe social distancing and avoid large indoor gatherings where COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person. We will eliminate this virus together.”

All vaccine providers may begin vaccinating the two new priority groups of 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs by Monday. Those eligible to receive a vaccine should:

  • Check the website of the local health department or hospital to find out their process or for registration forms; or
  • Check additional vaccination sites, such as local pharmacies like Meijer, Rite Aid or Cardinal Health (U.P. residents); or
  • Residents who don’t have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or can call 2-1-1.

There may be a waitlist for available appointments. As more vaccine becomes available, the state will continue to move more quickly through the priority groups.

This comes after an FDA panel recommended Emergency Use Authorization for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Friday, with the FDA authorizing it over the weekend.

A spokesperson for the state says Michigan will receive 82,700 doses of the single-shot vaccination on Wednesday. It will then be distributed to local health departments and hospitals, which will administer the vaccines.

Whitmer has asked that residents remain patient as the state works around the clock to get more shots in arms.