Exclusive: Detroit public health officer talks position amid pandemic, lagging COVID vaccinations

Denise Fair has kept residents safe, informed amid Detroit’s struggle with pandemic

Exclusive: Detroit public health officer talks city's vaccine rollout, low rates

DETROIT – The coronavirus pandemic has taken Detroit on an emotional rollercoaster: The city was one of the nation’s earliest hot spots for virus outbreaks, and had among the highest COVID death rates in 2020.

And now, it is a city with one of the lowest vaccination rates.

See: Detroit health officials concerned with vaccination rates as restrictions are eased

Detroit Public Health Officer Denise Fair says that about 35% percent of city residents are currently vaccinated, but their goal is to reach 70%.

“We are really lagging behind,” Fair said. “If we don’t get 70% community immunity, who knows, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to normal.”

Fair has been at the center of fighting this pandemic and keeping the public safe and informed. While she touts the rapid and successful efforts of mobilizing mass COVID testing when the city needed it most, getting Detroiters vaccinated against the virus is happening way too slowly.

See what Fair had to say in our exclusive interview in the video above.

Related: Detroit’s chief health officer answers tough questions from resident hesitant about COVID vaccine

Local 4 Vaccine Town Hall: Ask your questions here

About the Author:

Rhonda Walker has been helping Detroiters get motivated and ready for the day for the past 22 years. A confessed morning person, this award winning talented and versatile journalist starts her day at 2:00 am to co-anchor the weekday morning newscast at WDIV-Local 4 News. A position she’s held since 2003.