Detroit launches ‘Senior Saturday’ neighborhood COVID vaccination sites

Thousands of senior residents receive COVID vaccine Saturday under new initiative

The city of Detroit has launched a "Senior Saturday" initiative to help senior residents get access to coronavirus vaccinations.

DETROIT – The city of Detroit is working hard to ensure eligible residents have access to a coronavirus vaccine.

In an effort to reach more senior citizens -- a group that has specifically struggled with scheduling vaccination appointments in Metro Detroit -- the city is launching a new initiative called “Senior Saturday.”

“When we look at our data, Black and Brown communities are two to three times more likely to get COVID and to also die from it,” said Denise Fair, Detroit’s chief public health officer.

Fair says racial discrepancies highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic are one of the reasons why the Detroit Health Department is asking everyone to get vaccinated.

Saturday’s effort seemed to help do just that.

“We opened at 9:00. We had about a line of about 50 people waiting around 8:00 just to get in,” Fair said Saturday. “I have spoken to a lot of the seniors today. They’re really excited about us coming out to help support them and put them first.”

Thousands of Detroiters 65 years old and older stopped through both the Fellowship Chapel and Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit to participate in Senior Saturday. The effort is the first in the region to directly bring the COVID vaccine to communities severely impacted by the pandemic.

Read more: 6 ways Michigan residents can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine

One woman, who is almost 80 years old, said she wants to do her part to beat this deadly virus.

“I feel that everyone should get the shot,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to get the shot, just go for it.”

Detroit residents who are interested in getting vaccinated but dont have transportation can call the Detroit Health Department to set up an appointment. The department will arrange a cab to pick up eligible individuals and transport them to their vaccination appointment.

Related: Macomb County reaches out to seniors, offers vaccines, rides to get it