On Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials provided additional information about COVID-19 vaccination plans for Michigan, including priority groups for vaccination administration, the vaccine development and safety process and where Michiganders can find more details.
Yesterday, after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended approval for one of the vaccines that could be ready for distribution as early as next week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-193, creating the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission to help educate Michiganders about an approved vaccine. Michigan health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 18 years of age or older, about 5.4 million adults, by the end of 2021.
Key Details for Educators
- MDHHS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Distribution of the vaccine will be in a phased approach, with an emphasis on both ensuring the continuing functioning of the health care systems and essential services in the community and protecting people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
- Phases are as follows:
- Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B includes some workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services. THIS PHASE INCLUDES K-12 SCHOOL AND CHILD CARE STAFF WHO HAVE DIRECT CONTACT WITH CHILDREN.
- Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
- Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.
- It is important to note that vaccination in one phase may not be complete before vaccination in another phase begins. Vaccination in these phases will likely overlap. The timing of the start of vaccination in a phase is dependent on guidance from CDC and ACIP, the supply of vaccine from the manufacturer, how vaccine is allocated from the federal level to Michigan and the capacity to administer the vaccine to populations.
- Vaccine distribution will roll out over a series of weeks, and current estimates are that by late Spring 2021 enough vaccine will be available for everyone who is recommended to receive it.
- There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine, however, healthcare providers may bill insurance for administrative costs.
- The COVID-19 vaccine will require two doses, separated by three or four weeks depending on the manufacturer. Michiganders should receive both doses in order to have full protection from the virus.
- Individuals who receive the vaccine may experience mild side effects such as low-grade fever, sore arm and fatigue, which indicate that the vaccine is working.