Michigan moving to new phase of COVID vaccinations, including teachers, first responders, residents age 65

New phase of vaccinations begins Monday (Jan. 11)

COVID-19 vaccination effort to ramp up across Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is moving on to a new phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, including teachers, first responders, childcare providers and residents 65 years of age and older.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that the new phase of vaccinations will begin Monday (Jan. 11).

“We are pleased to move the state forward in the next stage of vaccinations,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “These vaccines are safe and effective, and we especially want our first responders, teachers and older adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The strategy we are announcing today is efficient, effective, and equitable, focusing on making vaccine available to those who have the highest level of risk, whether it is because of where they work or because of their age.”

The frontline essential workers in this phase of vaccine distribution include police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers, jail and prison staff members, Pre-K through 12th grade teachers and childcare providers.

Michigan officials said 80% of deaths from COVID-19 have occurred among people ages 65 and older. In addition to vaccinating Michiganders who are 75 and older in Phase 1B, MDHHS is accelerating to vaccinate people between 65-74 years old.

“The more people we can get the safe and effective vaccine, the faster we can return to a sense of normalcy,” Whitmer said. “I urge all seniors to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and that all Michiganders to make a plan to get vaccinated when it becomes available to you.”

All counties may begin vaccinating residents over age 65, and seniors are urged to visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine to find local health departments and other local vaccine clinics near them that are ready to book appointments.

Eligible essential workers, teachers and childcare workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinic dates and locations, Whitmer said. Eligible residents should not go to any of the clinics without an appointment.

There is still limited vaccine available in the state, so there will be limited appointments available, according to Michigan officials. As more vaccine becomes available, the state will be able to move more quickly through the priority groups.

Here’s a look at the vaccination phases in Michigan:

  • Phase 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long term care facilities.
  • Phase 1B: Persons 75 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.
  • Phase 1C: Individuals 16 years of age or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.
  • Phase 2: Individuals 16 years of age or older.

More than 140,000 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have been administered to health care workers, with more than 8,000 going to nursing home residents and staff, according to the state.

About the Author:

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.