Advocacy News – January 8, 2021
Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released an updated COVID-19 vaccination plan earlier this week and announced they are beginning the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The state’s updated “Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance” speeds up the vaccination of older adults and frontline workers, including police officers and first responders, jail and corrections staff, and teachers. Beginning Monday, January 11, the state will start making vaccinations available for older residents (65+) and some frontline essential workers.
Other critical infrastructure workers, as identified by Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP),
whose work must be performed on-site, but who do not have regular public interaction, will be vaccinated in Phase 1B, Group C. The guidance specifies Phase 1B, Group C includes frontline essential workers “in sectors essential to the functioning of society and at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because their work related duties must be performed on-site and involve being in close proximity (i.e., within 6 feet) to the public or to coworkers.”
The guidelines specify frontline essential workers in critical infrastructures include:
- Food and agriculture workers
- Critical manufacturing workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Workers with unique skill sets not covered above, such as non-hospital laboratories and mortuary services.
The guidance further specifies: “If further sub-prioritization is needed of frontline essential workers due to limited vaccine supply, local health departments may consider prioritizing workers in locations of their jurisdiction where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred and/or workers who are at increased risk for severe illness based on age or underlying medical conditions.”
Phase 1C will follow Phase 1B, Group C and include individuals age 16 years or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety, and protection during the COVID-19 response. Phase 1C, Group A includes individuals age 65 to 74 years. This includes those in congregate settings that were not reached in prior Phases. Phase 1C, Group B includes individuals age 16 to 64 years with COPD, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other conditions that put them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome. The guidelines specify “[s]ome other essential workers whose work must be performed on site, not covered in prior Phases, will also likely be vaccinated during this phase most likely in the summer. MDHHS will adapt this guidance as vaccine availability becomes clearer.”
Phase 2 will follow Phase 1B, Group C. Phase 2 includes individuals 16 years of age or older who do not otherwise fit into the earlier groups for whom the vaccine is recommended.
Employers interested in working to get their employees access to the vaccine should contact their local public health department.
Please contact the Michigan Chamber with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about Phases 1B and 1C can be found here.