Advocacy News – February 18, 2021
The Michigan Department of Health of Human Services (MDHHS) earlier this week announced changes to its vaccine strategy intended to “enhance the state’s equity strategy to reach more Michiganders with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.”
The revised strategy is focused on getting “more vulnerable Michiganders vaccinated” including:
- Mortuary Service Workers – Starting immediately, mortuary service workers, who routinely work with infectious materials, will be able to be vaccinated as part of group 1A in accordance with CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations.
- Federally Qualified Health Centers – The state announced Michigan’s 41 federally qualified health centers across the state will start receiving vaccine allocations to help vaccinate individuals age 65 and older. These community health centers are located in medically underserved areas to provide high-quality, affordable and comprehensive medical services to everyone – regardless of their ability to pay.
- Food Processing and Agricultural Workers – The state announced workers in food processing and agricultural settings, about 79,000 Michiganders, will be able to be vaccinated as of March 1.
Currently, persons 65 and older are eligible to be vaccinated across the state. The updated vaccine strategy specifies providers “with specific plans to remove barriers to access across the state” will also be allowed to request vaccines for people age 60 and up.
MDHHS recently announced a state’s strategy to get 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and older vaccinated as quickly as possible. To date, Michigan has administered approximately 1.657 million doses of the COVID vaccine, largely following the updated vaccine prioritization guidance.
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