Detroit Regional Chamber > Business Resources > COVID-19 > Detroit Opens COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Residents Age 16 and Older

Detroit Opens COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Residents Age 16 and Older

March 30, 2021
Detroit Free Press
March 29, 2021
Christina Hall

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Monday that the city will open up vaccine eligibility to Detroiters age 16 and older — a week earlier than the state — as more younger people are contracting the coronavirus and being hospitalized.

Also, the city is opening its Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic at the Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, he said.

Duggan said the city is receiving 3,300 doses of the one-shot vaccine, with more Johnson & Johnson doses expected in the next few weeks. That site is expected to expand hours and days as more of the one-dose shots arrive.

This is the final time vaccine eligibility will be expanded in the city. Starting Monday, any Michigander age 16 and older will be eligible for a vaccine in the state.

Duggan said the city’s infection rate in the last 10 days is at 10%, a rate it hasn’t seen since last year. He said, “our hospitalizations have doubled in the last 10 days.”

He said hospitalizations in November were predominantly of those age 60 and older.

“What we are seeing today is hospitalizations of people in their 20s, in their 30s, in their 40s, and in their 50s. We haven’t seen this before,” he said.

Duggan wants to get more shots in younger people’s arms to curb the virus, including the B.1.1.7 variant that is circulating.

Denise Fair, the city’s chief public health officer, said she is “very concerned” about the upward trend in COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, and hospitalizations.

She said during the last two weeks “our cases have nearly doubled” with 896 new cases in that time frame. She said about 22% are those ages 20 to 29 years old and 18% are 30- to 39-year-olds.

“Please, don’t tune us out,” she said. “Hear us when we say, don’t wait and get vaccinated. …We know life is better with a vaccine.”

Those eligible for a vaccine can call 313-230-0505 to schedule an appointment either at the mass vaccination site in the TCF Center garage, through the Community Saturday program, or at the Northwest Activities Center vaccination site.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is available to 16- and 17-year-olds. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are for those age 18 and older.

Duggan said those age 16 and 17 will be scheduled based on Pfizer vaccine availability, but he said the great majority of the city’s vaccine supply is Pfizer.

He said anyone who works at a job site in the city of Detroit also can schedule a vaccine appointment.

Duggan said that he believes by late May or June the only people hospitalized with COVID-19 will be those who did not get a vaccine.

Regarding the Tigers’ Opening Day downtown on Thursday, Duggan urged people who don’t have a ticket for the baseball game to “please do not come into the city.” He said the 8,200 people who have tickets will be socially distanced in the stadium.

Duggan said the city health department will strictly enforce the 50% capacity limit at restaurants and bars and will shut down establishments exceeding the limits. Tailgating crowds that fail to follow mask and social distancing guidelines will not be permitted, he said.

“For this year, if you don’t have a ticket to the game, please don’t come to the city. If you do have a ticket to the game, don’t come down early. …This year, given the fact that COVID is rising, we’re going to be enforcing the rules.”

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