Michigan Delivers First Doses of Pfizer Vaccine and Announces Distribution Plans
Dr. Khaldun and University of Michigan President Dr. Mark S. Schlissel pictured at Michigan Medicine as Pfizer vaccine shipments arrive.
MICHIGAN - Michigan hospitals have received their first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine after the FDA approved the vaccine for emergency use.
The vaccination of healthcare workers started Monday at two hospitals in the state and additional hospitals are expected to begin vaccinating their staff later this week.
“This is a great day for our families, frontline workers, small businesses, and Michigan as a whole. Here, in the state built on innovation and grit, a safe and effective COVID vaccine is being manufactured by Michigan workers at a Michigan business,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Our frontline essential hospital workers have gone above and beyond to save lives, including stepping up today to receive vaccines.”
COVID-19 vaccinations were first distributed to Michigan Medicine and Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.
“The arrival of this vaccine in Michigan signals that the end of this pandemic is near,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “However, it will take several months before we are able to have enough vaccine to widely distribute it to the general population.”
The first Michiganders to receive the vaccine will be priority healthcare and hospital workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
At the request of MDHHS, the National Guard was asked to support vaccination efforts within the state.
“We will provide medics and administrative support to hospitals and local health care organizations and work to fill their needs,” said Michigan National Guard Joint Operations Officer, Col. Ravindra Wagh. “For some locations, that will mean directly administering the vaccine to their staff. We will also provide administrative support when needed, freeing up critical front-line hospital employees and allowing them to focus on the ongoing battle against COVID-19.”
Approximately, fifty COVID-19 testing and vaccination teams will be staffed by members of the guard. These teams will report to four hospitals the state deemed as priority as early as Tuesday, December 15th.
“One of the most important things every adult should be doing now is planning for how they will get the vaccine when it becomes available to them,” said Whitmer. “I announced the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission to help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of this state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.”
Gov. Whitmer and Dr. Khaldun both echoed the importance for Michiganders to continue to follow the executive orders.
“It will take several months before we are able to have enough vaccine to widely distribute it to the general population,” said, Dr. Khaldun. “Until then, and even for individuals who receive the vaccine, we should all be doing our part to slow the spread of this virus by wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, and washing hands.”