DETROIT – The Joe Biden Administration officially announced Friday morning it will be working with state officials to build a new major Community Vaccination Center (CVC) in Detroit.
“I’m pleased to announce the addition of a new FEMA-supported site in Detroit,” said White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients. “This site, located at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, has the ability to administer 6,000 shots per day.”
Ford Field is becoming one of 20 mass vaccination sites in the country. Detroit was a COVID hot spot in 2020, but will now help protect thousands against coronavirus.
A mobile vaccine clinic will take 1,000 doses into Detroit’s most underserved neighborhoods.
There is no cost, no insurance is needed and parking will be provided.
“Because the State of Michigan is using the CDC’s vulnerability index, prioritizing people who are getting vaccinated this site is for people who have had barriers and challenges and really been hit hard during the pandemic. People of color, people who are low income or low wealth, people who are fighting persistent poverty,” said Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
Michigan residents who are currently eligible -- 50+ with preexisting conditions -- will be the first to be vaccinated. On March 22, residents who are 16+ with certain medical conditions can be vaccinated and on April 5, all adults become eligible for vaccination.
Local leaders in Metro Detroit said the move to vaccinate at Ford Field is a big deal as counties continue to struggle with the state supply of the vaccine still not meeting demand.
Ford Field will be offering the Pfizer vaccine.
“Like so many, I have cried so many tears. My heart has been broken,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence. “I don’t want to lose another person in this community.”
Lawrence said the past year has been devastating as Detroit became a hot spot.
“We have to bring this community back together,” Lawrence said. “Protect lives and move Michigan and Detroit forward.”
The way forward, she said, is the the vaccination site at Ford Field.
She has a message to anyone who is on the fence about the vaccine. She said she told her doctor she was reluctant before she was vaccinated.
“He said, ‘What is your fear?’ and I said, ‘I might get sick,’” Lawrence recalled. “He said, “I can fix sick, I can’t fix dead. I need you to lead. Get your vaccine.’”
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.
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.