Washtenaw County scales back emergency mass vaccination efforts amid widespread vaccine availability

People sit in the waiting area at EMU's Convocation Center at 799 N Hewitt Rd. in Ypsilanti. (Jeremy Borton | St. Joe's)

ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw County Health Department and local health care providers are decreasing mass vaccination clinics as vaccines are widely available.

Since shots are now plentiful, the need for emergency distribution strategies like the county’s mass vaccination sites at Eastern Michigan University and in Chelsea has decreased.

The Health Department will continue to provide COVID vaccinations at its offices and through smaller community clinics for walk-ins. Anyone 12 years of age or older is encouraged to get the vaccine at no cost.

In addition to smaller clinics, the Health Department will be distributing COVID vaccines throughout the county with its new clinical RV.

Through the end of June, the Health Department and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital will run the mass vaccine clinic at EMU’s Convocation Center on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

According to the Health Department, as of May 27, roughly 72,500 vaccines have been administered at the EMU site while the overall amount of doses given by the Health Department stood at more than 91,800.

The mass vaccination clinic in Chelsea at Pierce Lake Elementary has closed.

“COVID-19 vaccine is now more widely available, and we have less need for large-scale, emergency distribution,” health officer with Washtenaw County Health Department, Jimena Loveluck, said in a statement.

“We and other providers continue to focus on making vaccine as accessible as possible to anyone not yet vaccinated. Vaccination and precautions in public and indoor settings can protect all of us and keep us moving toward more normal activities and gatherings, even though COVID-19 is still circulating as lower levels.”

Meanwhile Michigan Medicine has shifted its vaccination efforts from Michigan Stadium to its North Campus Research Complex. Like the Health Department, U-M is also offering smaller vaccine clinics at smaller offices and providers. As of May 26, Michigan Medicine administered 134,863 doses.

According to the latest data, 65% of Washtenaw County residents 16 years of age or older have received at least one dose while 59% of those 12-64 years of age have received at least one dose.

Free transportation continues to be available in Washtenaw County for those who need assistance getting to vaccination sites. Any residents can call 844-900-4892 and use the code “Vaccinate Washtenaw” to schedule a ride.

For more information about vaccination in Washtenaw County, visit the Health Department’s website.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.