Detroit to hold COVID vaccination fairs at churches for seniors

City now offering $2 rides to TCF Center

Detroit to open new neighborhood COVID vaccination sites for seniors
Detroit to open new neighborhood COVID vaccination sites for seniors

DETROIT – The City of Detroit is redoubling its efforts make sure eligible Detroiters are able to access a COVID-19 vaccine with new initiatives to reach more senior citizens in the community and provide transportation to the TCF Center for those who need a ride to their appointment.

The latest initiatives were announced Monday by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan during a press conference.

Starting this weekend, the Detroit Health Department will be partnering with two of the city’s largest churches to hold weekly Senior Saturday vaccination fairs exclusively for Detroit residents ages 65 and older.

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Fellowship Chapel will hold its first fair this Saturday, Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 7707 Outer Drive West in Detroit and Second Ebenezer will hold its event the same day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 14601 Dequindre Street in Detroit.

The events at both churches will repeat each Saturday on February 20th and 27th and March 5th. Up to 500 vaccinations will be scheduled at each location, each day.

Eligible residents can call 313-230-0505 to schedule their appointment at either church.

Duggan said that his goal is to make sure that every Detroiter who is eligible to receive a vaccination has the ability to access it. He also said he plans to expand to additional locations to reach seniors in southwest Detroit and the east side starting next week.

“We have vaccinated more than 9,000 Detroiters ages 65 and older, but it’s very important that we reach as many as we can as quickly as we can,” said Duggan. “Thanks to our partnerships with Rev. Anthony and Bishop Vann, we will be able to reach another 4,000 seniors over the next month, in addition to those we already will be vaccinating at TCF,” said Duggan.

City now offering $2 rides to TCF

Duggan also announced that starting Monday, people scheduling appointments for a vaccination at TCF Center will have the opportunity to get a ride to the site for just $2, if they lack their own transportation. The service is similar to the one the city provided for COVID-19 testing at the State Fairgrounds.

There is no eligibility requirement to obtain a ride, other than to be a Detroit resident and to be picked-up from a Detroit address. Rides can be scheduled as part of the process of setting up a vaccination appointment at TCF by calling the scheduling number at 313-230-0505. Rides must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance of an appointment. If a wheelchair accessible vehicle is required, one will be provided.

“No one should miss being vaccinated due to lack of transportation,” said Duggan. “Our goal is to have the most accessible vaccine program in the country, just as we had the most accessible testing program in the county.”

2,500 doses going to Detroit Meijer stores

On Monday, the mayor also announced a partnership with the two Meijer locations in the city, which is prepared to start offering vaccinations to its staff and eligible customers. The retail chain currently has a waiting list of 3,300 customers who are residents of the city of Detroit. It’s not clear whether all of those individuals still need a vaccination, or if some have been vaccinated at TCF or another location.

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“This week we will be providing Meijer with 2,500 of our doses so they can begin contacting the people on their waiting list and administering them in the next few days,” said Duggan. “If they still have a list of eligible people who need vaccinating beyond those initial doses, we will be able to provide them with additional ones.”

Full list of eligible individuals who can schedule appointments at TCF now includes:

  • Food Service Workers, including grocery store, restaurant, meat packing and food and beverage handling employees living or working in Detroit
  • Security guards and janitors living or working in Detroit
  • Any resident of the City of Detroit who is age 65 or older (born in 1955 or before)
  • K-12 teachers and support staff and day care workers
  • S. Post Office Employees who live or work in Detroit
  • Employees of the City of Detroit or city-related agencies who are working from their regular job site (Employees working from home are not eligible at this time)
  • State and Federal Law enforcement working in Detroit
  • Members of the Clergy interacting with members of their congregation
  • Funeral Home/mortuary employees working in Detroit
  • Paid and unpaid persons in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials working in Detroit

Public Dashboard tracks doses, vaccinations

According to the city as of Monday it has received 54,550 vaccine doses (15,000 of which were delivered Monday) and as of the end of the day Monday had administered 32,579. That includes more than 9,100 residents over the age of 65 and “Good Neighbor” drivers, 2,251 health care providers, 2,700 first responders, 3,000 teachers and school staff, and 13,500 other eligible individuals. Daily updated numbers are now available on a public dashboard accessible at www.detroitmi.gov.

How to schedule an appointment

Eligible residents and employees can call 313-230-0505 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday to make an appointment. As of yesterday, the average wait time for callers who made it through the initial prompts to determine their eligibility was about 15 minutes. Detailed information on the TCF testing site is available at www.detroitmi.gov. As additional independent vaccination sites at pharmacies and elsewhere come online in the city, a map of locations will be added to the website.

Scheduling details

Vaccinations will be administered by appointment only. Workers and residents will not be vaccinated without having first made an appointment. Individuals must call 313-230-0505 to schedule.

Grocery store and security guard employees scheduling appointments will be required to provide their name, residence address and age. For greater efficiency and convenience, the city is recommending that when possible, eligible members of the same family or neighbors schedule jointly and arrive in the same vehicle. Group B essential workers will be required to provide the name of their employer and their most recent pay stub to verify their eligibility.

Second vaccination required

When they schedule their appointment, individuals will be provided two appointment dates, one for the first dose and another for the required second dose. Call center staff will contact each scheduled person prior to their second appointment to remind them. Individuals also will be provided specific instructions on when and where to arrive to the TCF Center, where they will be required to fill out a basic consent form.

After receiving their vaccination, individuals will be required to remain in their vehicles inside the TCF garage for a period of approximately 15 minutes to make sure they are not experiencing any side effects. Medical staff will be on hand to assist any who may experience any side effects. Appointments should last about one hour once the person enters the TCF garage.

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