Michigan weighing race, other factors in hopes of equitable COVID-19 vaccine dose distribution

Michiganders urged to fill out race information on forms

Michigan weighing race, other factors in hopes of equitable COVID vaccine dose distribution

With COVID vaccines still in short supply, there are concerns on how the state of Michigan is distributing the doses and whether the vulnerable population is being served.

The state is now including race data in its COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard to provide additional information.

More than 60% of Michigan seniors have not been vaccinated as of Tuesday.

Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases

“The governor and I are either on the phone or on a zoom call with somebody in the Biden-Harris Administration or a department or agency to make sure we can get our allocations and that they know what’s happening here in the state of Michigan,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

It’s unknown what kind of allotment the state will send out, depending on what it gets from the federal government. Additionally, it’s frustrating Metro Detroit counties that ready to administer the vaccine but not receiving the amount needed.

Meanwhile, other communities like Detroit are offering vaccines not only for seniors but also to grocery store workers, food service works and those with disability.

Another issue is tracking the racial component on more than half of the vaccines given. It’s unclear what the race of the individual is, so it is difficult to get accurate numbers.

However, with limited data the state has, it’s reported:

  • 43.7% unknown
  • 41.7% White
  • 9.5% listed as other
  • 3.7% Black
  • 1.1% Asian

“We are committed to making sure we have an equitable distribution of the vaccine and that every dose we get into the state immediately goes to get distributed and to get into someone’s arm,” Gilchrist said.

READ: How a CVS closure impacts COVID vaccination efforts for seniors in Highland Park

READ: Seniors in Highland Park, Hamtramck line up to receive dose of COVID-19 vaccine

READ: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m on an antibiotic? Why do I have to reschedule mammogram?

Why you still need to wear a mask, practice social distancing amid COVID vaccine rollout

According to the CDC, more than 44 million Americans have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As the number of vaccinated citizens rises, more people are having questions about when it will be safe to return to certain activities.

It takes about two weeks after receiving the second vaccine for people to reach full protection. Even after being fully vaccinated people will not be able to return to life as they used to be.

Click here to read more.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.