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Michigan expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Wednesday announced at a press conference that the state was expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. This means that those deemed “frontline essential workers” and community members age 65 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine from health care providers, effective Monday, January 11.

These groups are part of Phase 1B of the vaccination priority grouping. The vaccine has previously been reserved for use within the Phase 1A group of health care workers.

“We are excited about the announcement and are eager to begin offering the vaccine to some of our community members,” said Jessica Bessner, PharmD, director of regional pharmacy for Aspirus in the U.P. “This is the latest milestone that hopefully brings us closer to the end of the pandemic.”

Essential workers in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, such as teachers and correction workers, are being asked to go through their local health departments to receive their vaccine. Community members age 65+ will be able to receive their vaccine through Aspirus. For this group, appointments can begin to be scheduled at Aspirus clinic locations in the U.P. starting January 11 by calling 844-568-0701.

Vaccine supply and guidance remains fluid, and vaccinations are being provided through Aspirus by invite or appointment only. No walk-in vaccination clinics are planned at this time.

Aspirus began vaccinating its employees on December 17 at its U.P. locations and has since vaccinated 548 staff members. It also has been vaccinating emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and independent clinical providers over the past two weeks.  

Click here for more information on vaccination prioritization in Michigan.