City vaccinating health care workers, vulnerable residents; Mayor, Chief Public Health Officer receive COVID vaccine

  • Mayor, HFHS CEO Wright Lassiter & Chief Public Health Officer receive Pfizer vaccinations to demonstrate confidence in vaccine’s safety
  • City has received first 2,000 doses of Moderna for front line Health workers, residents and staff at assisted living facilities
  • Fire/EMS medical responders to start receiving vaccinations Wednesday through partnership with Henry Ford Health System

The first wave of eligible City of Detroit employees, health care workers and most vulnerable residents will begin receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations starting tomorrow, Mayor Mike Duggan announced today. 

On Monday, the City received its first shipment of 2,000 doses of the recently-approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.  Those doses will be used to vaccinate appropriate Health Department staff, home health care workers, staff and residents at assisted living facilities in the city.  Meanwhile, through its occupational health partnership with the city, workers from Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) will begin vaccinating Detroit’s EMS workers and fire fighters, who are cross trained as medical first responders.

Mayor Receives COVID Vaccine

City, health leaders receive vaccinations
Duggan outlined the city’s plan today, stressing that taking the vaccine is voluntary and entirely up to the individual.  To show his confidence in the safety of the vaccine, Duggan, along with Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair, Public Safety Health Director Dr. Robert Dunne and Henry Ford Health System CEO Wright Lassiter, all received their vaccinations today as part of the city’s effort to assure the public of the vaccine’s safety. Each expressed their strong feeling to not ask their employees to take the new vaccine without first taking it themselves.

“Today is our city’s first step in truly getting past COVID-19,” Duggan said. “Detroiters have done a great job following the rules that have been established for them, such as wearing masks and social distancing.  Now they will get to have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether to take the vaccine. As we prepare to immunize our front line health care workers and medical first responders, we want everyone to know the vaccine is safe and how much confidence we have in it.”

Worker vaccinations start Wednesday
The State’s plan for distributing the vaccine is broken down into four phases, the first three focusing on healthcare, medical and front line workers, as well elderly and vulnerable residents before beginning phase 4, which is the general population. The first phase (1a) has three levels of priority, which the city expects to complete in January. They are:

  • 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

  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities and home health care workers with high risk patients

  • Health Department vaccinators, medical first responders and front line staff

Starting tomorrow, the first of the city’s 1,100 medical responders in the Detroit Fire Department will begin receiving Pfizer vaccinations through an occupational health partnership between the city and Henry Ford Health System. Staff from HFHS will have its mobile unit on site at DFD’s regional training facility to vaccinate interested personnel between Wednesday and the first week of January. Each of the city’s 47 fire companies are now being scheduled and as of today, more than 400 personnel have expressed interest in taking the vaccine.

The 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine the city received on Monday, will begin deploying this Wednesday, as well. Here is the initial timeline:

  • December 23: Health Department vaccination team, 30 staff
  • December 28-30: Home Health Agencies, 450 staff
  • January 4-8: Nursing Home(s) not registered with CVS/Walgreens, 166 staff and residents
  • January 8-Feb 1: Other long term care facilities an senior buildings

These groups will be followed in early February by Phase 1B (residents ages 75 and older, essential frontline workers such as DPD & DDOT) and Phase 1C (Additional essential workers, persons 65 to 74 years of age, and individuals 16 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions.) in early April before the vaccine is offered to the general public in late spring.

Mayor Duggan has said that he expects the city to vaccinate up to 5,000 residents per day over a period of several months to reach a majority of the adult population in Detroit, employing parking decks at TCF Center and Comerica Park to handle the volume.  The vaccines are not approved for children at this time.

“We have a robust plan for vaccinating the people of Detroit, once we get to that phase of the plan,” Duggan said.  “Just as our city has been a national leader in providing free, fast and reliable testing, I expect we will do the same by providing access to the vaccine for anyone who wants it.”

Detroit's four step plan for vaccine rollout


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