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New Michigan health director Elizabeth Hertel discusses COVID vaccine rollout

Former director Robert Gordon abruptly announced resignation on Jan. 22

New Michigan health director Elizabeth Hertel discusses COVID vaccine rollout
New Michigan health director Elizabeth Hertel discusses COVID vaccine rollout

Shortly after former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon abruptly resigned on Jan. 22, Elizabeth Hertel was named the new director.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Hertel minutes after Gordon tweeted his resignation.

“Our real challenge, the real barrier right now, is the number of vaccines we have actually coming in to the state. We have a lot of the infrastructure, the providers to be able to do the vaccine administration all over the state. So, we just continue to wait to see more coming in,” Hertel said.

READ: What Michigan Gov. Whitmer said about health director Robert Gordon’s abrupt resignation

READ: High-risk Metro Detroit woman hits vaccine roadblock as healthier friends get the shot

Among those eligible for a COVID vaccine, there’s some confusion over jurisdiction such as where to go to set up an appointment and then get the vaccine.

“We’ve been working actively with both the local health departments and the hospital systems across the state to bring them together for that sort of coordination between the health systems and the local health departments,” Hertel said.

Hertel hopes the goal of 50,000 vaccines a day can be realized and move up the timetable.

“If the number of vaccines coming in to the state of Michigan remains static, I think that’s a possibility, but I have a lot of faith in the new administration at the federal level to be able to deploy significantly more vaccines,” she said.

READ: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases


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