How Michigan hospitals, health departments prioritize COVID vaccine distribution

State struggles to meet increasing vaccine demand

How Michigan hospitals, health departments prioritize COVID-19 vaccine

With demand high and supply low, getting an appointment to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Michigan can be tricky -- even for essential workers.

On Jan. 11 the state entered a new phase of vaccinations, which broadened vaccine eligibility criteria to include frontline workers and seniors with health issues. Like much of the rest of the country, however, the state of Michigan was struggling to meet the demand even before more people were allowed to receive the vaccine.

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With some health systems, like Beaumont, eligible individuals who sign up are selected for a vaccination appointment at random.

On Friday, the Henry Ford Health System says it has identified 300,000 patients who are 65 years old and older with health conditions in its system that are eligible for a vaccine, and the health system is following state and CDC guidelines to determine who gets the vaccine. Henry Ford officials say they are also establishing a phone system for individuals who don’t have computer access.

But, like all other institutions administering vaccines, they don’t have enough supply to meet demand.

Watch the full report in the video player above.

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Michigan officials release preliminary timeline for COVID vaccinations

Michigan has released a preliminary timeline to show a projection of when other phases can expect to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s currently just an estimation, but the timeline shows the general public under 65 isn’t likely to get their first dose until at least August.

As of Jan. 15, people over the age of 65, frontline essential workers, child care, school staff and congregate care facilities are able to get vaccinated.

The state believes it could take until May or June to get everyone in Phase 1B vaccinated. People between 16-64 with health conditions that put them at high risk for COVID complications and remaining essential workers are expected to be vaccinated between May-September.

Learn more here.

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About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.