COVID-19 vaccine could become available as early as Dec. 15, Michigan health official says

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says Michiganders should start thinking about plans for COVID-19 vaccine

A patient receiving a vaccine. (Emrah Gurel, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – A COVID-19 vaccine could become available as early as Dec. 15, according to the top health official in the state of Michigan.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, spoke Thursday about the progress health officials have made toward a vaccine that can be distributed to the public.

“We’re working directly with our hospitals, local health departments and other partners to plan for when a COVID-19 vaccine will become available, which we expect to be as early as Dec. 15,” Khaldun said. “This is really exciting, and I want people to be, right now, thinking about their plans for getting the vaccine when it becomes available to them.”

Click here to view a timeline of when the COVID-19 vaccine could be available to Michigan’s general public.

Khaldun assured Michiganders that the vaccine will not be distributed in the state unless the science clearly shows that it is safe and effective.

“You should also know that the process for this vaccine being approved is solid,” Khaldun said. “Tens of thousands of people have been involved in trials already, and while the timeline has been condensed, no steps have been skipped.”

When the vaccine becomes available, the top priority in Michigan will be to make sure health care workers and those who are most vulnerable get vaccinated, Khaldun said.

“As more supply becomes available, eventually, the general public will be able to get the vaccine, as well,” Khaldun said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.