Ford field to become site of mass vaccination clinic

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 9:49 AM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX) - Thursday Governor Gretchen Whitmer toured Ford Field in Detroit, the site of an upcoming mass vaccination clinic.

When the pandemic first struck Michigan one year ago the hardest hit areas were, predictably, those that were most densely populated. Michigan for a time was a microcosm for the US, with COVID-19 entering from a major center of commerce in the east (Detroit for Michigan and New York for the US) and then moving west. In the early days, before we had learned how to combat the virus, that westward spread was fast enough that some hospitals on the state’s west coast were having serious discussions about what to do when they ran out of hospital beds.

That makes it somewhat poetic that Detroit will now host one of the largest vaccination clinics the state has seen yet. Poetic, but not coincidental: Ford Field was selected according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention priority tool to help those hardest hit by and most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The clinic will operate from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for 8 weeks (open 7 days a week) under the federal government’s vaccination pilot program.

Local leaders will be in charge of managing the site. The state of Michigan will be assisted by FEMA, Wayne County, the city of Detroit, Ford Field, Meijer, Henry Ford Health System, the Detroit Lions and the Protect Michigan Commission.

Starting Wednesday the state will have 5,000 doses daily to give out Ford field, with 1,000 being distributed to the community for anyone who qualifies no matter where you live in the state. In the interest of vaccinating as many as possible, including those who cannot normally afford health care, the vaccine will be offered at no cost and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the vaccination clinic.

All Michigan residents currently eligible to receive the vaccine will be allowed to register for an appointment if they qualify under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

To view the most recent vaccine prioritization guidance, head to Michigan’s COVID-19 website.

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