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Detroit expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, will give Johnson & Johnson shots

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has extended vaccination to all Detroiters and anyone who works locally in the city and who are 16 years or older on Monday, a week before the state vaccine.

The city is also planning to increase vaccination capacity as the health department receives 3,300 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for the first time this week.

Starting Saturday, the city’s Northwest Activities Center will open as a vaccination site for the single-dose vaccine and will be distributed to two churches during Saturday community events.

As the volume of Johnson & Johnson doses the health department receives increases, the center will add extra days to act as a second key vaccination site, Duggan said.

“This town could reopen this summer,” said Duggan. “We will also be in a position where by the end of May or June the only people who go to hospital with COVID will be the people who had the chance to get the vaccine and didn’t care.”

As the city expands the eligibility, the TCF center can accommodate 4,400 cars per day, Duggan said, encouraging people to carpool with friends and family.

Denise Fair, the city’s chief health officer, said, along with the state, Detroit is seeing an upward trend in hospitalizations and cases that are “very worrying.”

“In the past two weeks, our cases have almost doubled – 896 new cases,” she said. “The majority of new cases are still cases between the ages of 20 and 29, which is around 22% and 30 to 39 years around 18%. Please don’t turn us off. Get vaccinated.”

In the first week of March, the city turned down 6,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, saying it was better for rural communities.

The single-shot vaccine was 72% effective in preventing moderate disease in US studies, a number that lags behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which were shown to be around 95% effective after two doses are. However, in studies, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine completely prevented hospitalizations and deaths, including in South Africa, against a more communicable variant, and was 85% effective in protecting against serious illness.

The mayor has said research shows it is a “highly effective shot” and he will give residents a choice. You can go to the activity center for the one-shot, the downtown TCF center for two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the FEMA mass vaccination clinic at Ford Field, at the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines will be administered by mid-May.

To date, the city has administered 191,400 doses out of 230,000 received doses. 43,000 appointments are planned.

In Detroit, 17.6% of people aged 16 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This compares with the percentages of Wayne Counties and Oakland Counties who received at least one dose of 33%, Macomb Counties 27.4%, Washtenaw 35%, and Michigan 31.2%.

There have been nearly 33,000 cases of COVID-19 in the city since March 2020, killing 1,868 people.

To book a vaccine appointment

Only Pfizer was approved for 16- and 17-year-olds. Residents should book appointments with Ford Field or the TCF Center.

Call the Detroit Health Department at (313) 230-0505 Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment at the TCF, Community Saturday Events, or the Northwest Activities Center.

Appointments are available at the following locations:

  • Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC around 19190 Schaefer
  • New Providence Baptist at 18211 Plymouth
  • Galilee Baptist Church at 5251 E. Outer Drive
  • Great Faith Ministries International on 10735 Grand River in Oakman
  • Grace Community Church on Moross Road 21001 (second dose only)
  • Kemeny Recreation Center at 2260 S. Fort Street (second dose only)
  • Fellowship Chapel at 7707 W. Outer Drive (second dose only)
  • Second Ebenezer Church at 14601 Dequindre (second dose only)

For Ford Field, any Michigan resident currently eligible 50 years and older or 16 years and older with disabilities or medical conditions can complete an online appointment registration form at clinical.meijer.com/register/CL2021.

Eligible Residents can also send “EndCOVID” to 75049 and select the Ford Field location or call the Department of Health hotline at (888) 535-6136 and press 1. For those who cannot send SMS or access the internet, the call center is open from 8 a.m. Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After completing the forms, registered persons will receive an invitation by phone or text when it is their turn to make an appointment. Vaccine appointments are scheduled a few days in advance, officials said.

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Dusty Kennedy