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Detroit expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine, expects doses to triple

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Detroit – Mayor Mike Duggan said Thursday that Detroit would triple the number of COVID-19 vaccinations starting next week and open up gun shots for city residents 65 and over and all healthcare workers.

The Detroit Health Department’s supply of coronavirus vaccines will increase from 5,000 doses this week to 15,000 next week, he said.

“It’s been a very intense week,” said Duggan. “I’ve worked really hard to take the pressure off the supply chain. You can call, you can make an appointment, and we’ll see large crowds.”

Duggan’s briefing comes just days after he said the city received only 5,000 doses of vaccine this week as the state faced shortages. He lowered the approval age to 68 years or older last week, but stressed Monday that Detroit couldn’t bring it down to 65 until the city gets closer to 10,000 doses of the vaccine per week.

The city will also vaccinate people next week who live or work in Detroit and are employed in all areas of the health care sector, including dentist, optometry, chiropractic and physical therapy offices, and veterinary clinics.

The mayor noted on Thursday that the downtown TCF Center is ready to accommodate a higher volume of vaccination appointments.

In the coming weeks, Duggan said the city will need to identify a second location for the administration of doses to meet demand for residents receiving their first dose of the vaccine and others needing their second booster shot.

“We have to find out another side and we are very much into these discussions about how we would do it,” he said.

The city has received 18,450 doses and administered 81% of them, or 14,933, by Wednesday night. About 5,700 residents over the age of 68 and “good neighbors” drivers were given cans, as were about 2,000 healthcare providers, 2,000 first responders, and 2,500 teachers and school staff.

The city has already vaccinated key workers in day care centers, K-12 schools, clergy and undertakers, postal workers, and federal and state employees who worked in the city.

The city, the mayor said, has booked 10,000 appointments over the next month.

Denise Fair, Detroit’s chief public health officer, said her staff would be stepping up outreach for the city’s most vulnerable people.

The city, in partnership with Wayne State Medical School, has vaccinated 937 residents and staff in 10 homeless shelters and 10 senior citizens’ homes in the past two weeks.

“Now that we have more vaccines, we can step up our efforts,” she said.

Next week, they plan to vaccinate 1,000 vulnerable Detroiters, Fair said.

As of Thursday, the city has recorded 28,557 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,788 deaths.

There are 80 operators making calls to schedule vaccination appointments at (313) 230-0505. The city is expanding the opening hours of the TCF center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday the US will ramp up shipments to distressed states over the next few weeks and expects there will be enough doses to vaccinate 300 Americans by the end of summer or early fall.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed a $ 5.6 billion COVID-19 relief plan that she should ask lawmakers to do. The plan includes $ 90 million that Congress allocated to vaccine distribution and $ 575 million to expand Michigan’s COVID-19 testing, tracing and laboratory capacity.

As of Wednesday, Michigan had more than 1.47 million distributed and 802,106 doses, according to the state’s data tracker.

Hundreds of Michigan National Guard members are deployed to expand COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts in the state.

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