Michigan COVID vaccine eligibility expands Monday: What to know

All adults eligible starting April 5

Empty vials of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at a vaccination site in Paris, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The government plans to inoculate 10 million citizens by mid-April, 20 million by mid-May and a total of 30 million, or two-thirds of the adults by summer. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) (Christophe Ena, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan will see a big expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility starting on Monday, March 22.

  • Starting Monday (March 22) all areas of the state may, as vaccine supplies are available, implement vaccination of people who are aged 50 and up (part of Phase 2), as well as vaccination of people aged 16 and up who have disabilities and/or medical conditions, as well as their caregiver family members and guardians.
  • By April 5, 2021, all areas of the state may, as vaccine supplies are available, implement vaccination of all people aged 16 and up who were not previously eligible.

As of Friday, 27.1% of residents, including about 2/3 of the 65 and up group, had received at least one dose of a vaccine.

How to get an appointment

There are various ways to request an appointment, including by phone. Here’s a list of the six ways Michigan residents can sign up for a vaccine.

NOTE: Appointments are based on vaccine supply, and while supply is increasing, you can still expect some delays and backlogs, depending on where you live. Register wherever you can.

What are considered eligible medical conditions?

Certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

The following medical conditions might place an individual at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, and are therefore also eligible for vaccination in ages 50 and above at this time:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2 , but < 30 kg/m2 )
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

More info: Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge answers COVID vaccine questions

There isn’t enough vaccine for the groups currently being vaccinated, why are we adding more?

MDHHS: It is important to note that phases of vaccination will be adjusted based on many factors which include efficiency, effectiveness and equity. Data is being evaluated to ensure that those with the highest risk and roles in supporting communities are identified for vaccination based on the available supply. We understand the challenges and appreciate everyone’s patience while we work to utilize all vaccine accordingly.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.