Detroit expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to new groups of residents
Detroit – Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Wednesday that the city is immediately expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to residents 60 and older with chronic illnesses.
Qualified residents include people with cancer, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, HIV, liver disease, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, dementia and sickle cell disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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“We need to reach the people most at risk,” Duggan said during a press conference Wednesday at the Detroit Public Security Headquarters. “The American Heart Association did a study of people over 65 last year and found that if you went to hospital with coronary artery disease, you had a 26% chance of dying, a 26% chance of death, a 28% chance % for high blood pressure, 29% for diabetes and a heart failure risk 38% probability of death. “
Duggan said the city is making enough progress with the 15,000 per week doses it receives.
“If you think about where we’re going with this … there’s a real chance by April we can (vaccinate) anyone in town who is at high risk of dying from COVID and wants a vaccine,” Duggan said.
The residents can make an appointment and inform the operator about the qualification requirements. Residents are asked to bring a note from a health care provider, prescription bottle or insurance company, or medical record to check their condition. Appointments will be available in the TCF Center’s garage starting Friday, Duggan said.
Appointments can be made Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. by calling (313) 230-0505.
“Age is without a doubt the greatest predictor of those who will die, but the second greatest predictor is your underlying health status, and the truth is that a 55- or 60-year-old with heart failure is more likely to die from COVID than a 70 -year-old who is a wanderer every day, “said Duggan.
About 7% of Detroiters are vaccinated.
“This is true across the country. The hospital distribution system used for COVID vaccines is broadcast to people with primary care physicians via electronic health records, and the Black and Brown communities are not tied to electronic health records in hospitals.” Duggan said, adding that Detroit is with the should be vaccinated at the same rate. “We’re going straight to our residents and I told the president last week that I want to get up to 25,000 … Just because you’re sending vaccines to a hospital in a poor community doesn’t mean the neighbors are the ones it’s come to the hospital. “
Biden met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Friday.
A week ago, the city expanded immunization eligibility for residents with physical and developmental disabilities after receiving hundreds of emails, calls, and letters advocating prioritizing disabled residents.
The Detroit Health Department is holding vaccination fairs for Detroiters 65 and over on Saturday in two of the city’s largest churches – the Fellowship Chapel on the west side of the city and Second Ebenezer Church on the east side.
The effort, known as “Seniors Saturdays,” is expected to vaccinate around 1,000 seniors. The city will open vaccination sites in southwest Detroit a week from Saturday, Duggan said.
Vaccination times are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fellowship Chapel and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Second Ebenezer and can be reached by calling (313) 230-0505.
Detroit’s most recent attempt to vaccinate its most vulnerable residents came after the city discovered three cases of the highly contagious new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7.
As of Tuesday, the city has 29,527 cases of COVID-19, resulting in 1,825 deaths.
The city is focused on clearing 1,880 miles of residential streets after the vaccinations in the TCF Center’s garage were canceled on Tuesday. If residential streets need addressing, residents can use the Improve Detroit app or call Detroit Public Works at (313) 224-0033.
DPW Director Ron Brundidge said they expected 1 to 2 inches more snowfall Thursday night through Friday, which would not require additional contractors.