Macomb County announces new COVID testing site, vaccine distribution plans

County officials work with nearby counties to store, distribute vaccines

Macomb County prepares for COVID-19 vaccine
Macomb County prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – With the announcement of the Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel recommending the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine needs an emergency use authorization, Michigan is developing a distribution plan once the vaccine is authorized.

Related: Michigan officials: COVID vaccine to be distributed in 4 phases, prioritize frontline workers

Macomb County health officials announced Friday their plan to move its COVID-19 testing site to the former site of Baker College on Gratiot Avenue in Clinton Township for the winter.

County executive Mark Hackel said Friday the county will receive about 1,000 vaccines in the first round of distribution. The first shipment will go directly to health care workers and those in nursing homes. A building behind the county offices in Mount Clemens will distribute the vaccines. County officials said the site won’t be a public site until they can get through those workers.

Macomb County has three super-cold coolers that can store the vaccines and are hoping to get two more. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at about nearly 100 degrees below zero.

The county said they are in need of workers, specifically those qualified to do COVID testing, contact tracing and getting the vaccine to Macomb County residents.

County officials will be working with the less-populated counties north of Macomb County -- mainly Lapeer and St. Clair counties -- as a place for those counties to store their shipments of the vaccines.

Michigan plans for COVID-19 vaccine: What to expect next
Michigan plans for COVID-19 vaccine: What to expect next

US panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

A U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the recommendation issued Thursday by its expert advisers. The advisory group, in a 17-4 vote with one abstention, concluded that the shot appears safe and effective against the coronavirus in people 16 and older.

A final FDA decision is expected within days. Millions of shots would then ship to begin vaccinating health care workers and nursing home residents. Widespread access to the general public is not expected until the spring.

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Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.