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Deadline Detroit | Michigan’s vaccine crusade hits a harder part: Reaching the reluctant and resistant

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More than four months after the first Pfizer vaccines went into effect, Michigan is entering a new stage in efforts to vaccinate at least 70% of residents over the age of 16.

Now that anyone who wants Covid immunity can get it, the focus is on attracting holdouts by making them more convenient and engaging. “Incentives” come into the conversation – a gentle way of saying payouts or bribes for a health move that is one’s own reward.

But hey, whatever helps add to the sheltered herd “when” vaccination efforts enter a critical and dangerous stage, “said Bridge Michigan reports this week:

After months when the rush for vaccines far exceeded the state’s limited supply, demand is starting to fade and weekly vaccination numbers in parts of the state are starting to decline. And so begins the hard work of reaching residents who were reluctant or indifferent to being shot. …

Health officials [will] Try to connect with the vaccine hesitant, marginalized, homebound, or those who have not yet taken the time, including many younger adults.

As of Friday, only 33.7% of eligible residents have had at least one shot (2.7 million out of 8.1 million who qualify). That beats the national pace (27%) but is far from Michigan’s goal.

(Graphic: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)

A Detroit dashboard puts the city’s rate at 28.6%. The state health department shows Oakland with 37.7% and Wayne County beyond Detroit with 35.3% and Macomb with 31.5%.

“We will not rest until we reach our goal of adequately vaccinating 70% of Michigandians aged 16 and over,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer late last month. “We will emerge stronger from this pandemic and celebrate Independence Day with friends and family. We will become the state that defeats this damn virus.”


Protection shock at Wayne State’s Heath Center recently. (Photo: WSU)

To get closer, officials in Lansing, counties and major cities are introducing more pop-up clinics, vaccination trucks and financial incentives. For example:

Dearborn Heights is offering admissions to residents of each ward from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, April 25th at the Berwyn Senior Center, 16155 Richardson St. Moderna. Appointments can be made online or by calling (313) 791-3420. Walk-ins can be accepted after 3 p.m. if the dose continues.

Wayne State Students can get $ 10 OneCard credit by submitting a digital photo of at least their first vaccine by May 7th. You can make an appointment at the Campus Health Center or have the admission at another location.

Detroit School District Teachers and staff who get a chance by June 30th will receive a $ 500 bonus. The incentive, which applies to people already vaccinated, includes up to 16 hours of sick leave to account for possible side effects of the vaccine.

Oakland University Students living in six dormitories, two residential buildings on campus, or Greek cottages must provide proof of vaccination prior to moving in for the fall semester on August 27th.

Bridge cites these other strategies:

  • The state health department is creating posts on Tik Tok, Instagram, and Snapchat to reach out to younger residents.

  • Some hospital systems are considering offering vaccines in emergency rooms.

  • A Ludington-based manufacturer, Floracraft, is hosting a half-day vaccination clinic for employees and family members next week. Workers who roll up their sleeves or have already received shots will receive $ 50 gift cards.

  • Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, partnered with Munson HealthCare, is offering on-site vaccines to employees and visitors next week – with a $ 10 deposit as bait.

  • Interns at the No. 10 District Health Department, which covers 10 counties in central Michigan, are trained to ask customers at dollar stores, pantries, and laundromats about their interest in a vaccine. If they do not have internet access, the interns can help them to make an appointment on site. “It’s really a survey to find out what it takes to encourage people to get vaccinated,” says Sarah Oleniczak, an assistant health officer from Ludington.

Prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan posted (Paywalled) on Friday that he would welcome a push from “some interiors – bars, restaurants, hotels -“. [by] We need the attraction to return to normal life in order to incentivize vaccination. “

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Dusty Kennedy