Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2021
Governor Whitmer Announces Michigan as One of the Few States in the Nation to Receive a Regional Community Vaccination Site
Michigan will get an additional 6,000 vaccines per day for eight weeks to help hit 70% vaccination goal.
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced that an eight-week mass vaccination site with the capacity to administer 6,000 doses each day will open on March 24 at Ford Field in Detroit to serve residents in the broader southeast Michigan region. The Biden Administration in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) selected southeast Michigan for this major new community vaccination site.
The site, which was selected according to the CDC’s priority tool to help those hardest hit and most vulnerable, will operate from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week, for eight weeks under the federal government's vaccination pilot program. The facility will be managed by the State of Michigan with support from FEMA, Wayne County, the City of Detroit, Ford Field, Meijer, Henry Ford Health System, and the Lions.
“The safe and effective vaccine is the best way to protect Michiganders and their families, and it is essential to getting our country back to normal, so that we can all hug our loved ones, get back to work, and send our kids to school safely,” said Governor Whitmer. “I want to thank President Biden and FEMA for the opportunity to build one of the nation’s first community vaccination sites to service the entire Southeast Michigan region. Over one million Michiganders of all races have already been safely vaccinated, and this site will help us to reach our goal of equitably vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders who are 16 years or older more quickly. Ramping up vaccine distribution will also help our economy recover faster and help save our small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Let’s get to work, and let’s get it done.”
“After a year of tremendous challenges and heartache, the new vaccine site at Ford Field will be a beacon of hope in a community that was hit hard by the devastating impacts of this deadly virus,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist. “When we saw this virus targeting Black and Brown communities, Michigan got to work setting up one of the nation’s first task forces to help reduce the staggering, disproportionate rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths in communities of color. As we continue to expand our state’s vaccine program, we must build upon the work that we’ve done in this space to ensure equitable access to this safe and effective vaccine. We can honor the legacies of the those we’ve lost to this virus by ensuring that we all get the vaccine when it is our turn.”
“FEMA is committed to the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “In coordination with our federal, state and local partners, we are establishing the Ford Field site to expand the rate of vaccinations in an efficient, effective and equitable manner, with an explicit focus on making sure that local communities with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure and infection are not left behind.”
“This mass vaccination site will accelerate Michigan’s efforts to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “I am grateful to President Biden and FEMA for selecting Michigan for this site and urge Michiganders to make an appointment to receive their vaccine when it becomes available. The COVID-19 vaccine is our way to defeat the virus and return to normalcy.”
“The most important thing we can do now as a community is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible so our lives and our economy can return to normal,” Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit. “Having this new mass vaccination site operated by FEMA will be a significant step forward for our city and our region toward that goal. We will be working closely with FEMA and state officials to make sure vaccines are distributed equitably.”
“People in our state have experienced so much this past year - loss, sacrifice, and hardship. The vaccine provides something new – hope. Today’s news means more people will have easier and quicker access to the vaccine so we can bring an end to this pandemic,” said Senator Stabenow.
“Vaccine distribution has rapidly increased under the Biden Administration and it’s critical we keep our foot on the gas to ensure Michiganders can get vaccines as soon as possible,” said Senator Peters. “I am thrilled that the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act will deliver resources—that I secured—directly to the federal vaccination program at Ford Field. There is no question this historic legislation will continue to provide the help needed to get Michigan past this pandemic, and I will continue my efforts to ensure vaccines are widely available.”
“In addition to the American Rescue Plan Act getting signed into law yesterday, this mass vaccination site at Ford Field is more great news for the residents of Southeast Michigan. Scaling up our vaccine distribution and outreach is exactly how we will beat this virus and keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a member of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. “We need to continue efforts like these to get Michiganders vaccinated, including people of color and other vulnerable communities. This includes tackling myths and building trust in the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. I’m grateful to President Biden’s laser-focused leadership, and I look forward to continuing the work to get Michigan and our country through this pandemic.”
Vaccine doses administered at the Ford Field Mass Vaccination Site will be based on the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to vaccinate our most vulnerable populations, and it will be in addition to Michigan's regular statewide vaccine allotment. First doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered at the site for the first three weeks of operation. Those vaccinated within that timeframe will be guaranteed a second dose during fourth, fifth and sixth weeks of operation. The brand of vaccine to be supplied during the final two weeks of the of the mass vaccination site has not yet been determined.
“The surest way to end this pandemic is to get everyone vaccinated, especially our residents in at-risk communities,” said Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive. “The FEMA mass vaccination clinic at Ford Field will play an important role in improving access to the vaccine while allowing more people to receive shots at a quicker rate. It is important that we increase access to the vaccine, especially in communities of color and underserved communities. The FEMA mass vaccination clinic gives all Wayne County residents one more option in getting vaccinated when it is their turn.”
"Everything we can do to get more people vaccinated in Michigan is a plus. Using Ford Field as a regional hub to administer an additional 6,000 doses a day is a tremendous step toward reaching the goal set by President Joe Biden Thursday night to get enough vaccines produced and distributed for every American by the end of May,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Today’s announcement is another powerful symbol that partnerships at every level of government, working alongside Michigan health care providers, pharmacies and organizations like the Detroit Lions will be the key to emerging from this pandemic.”
“We are pleased to see our partners at the federal level expand vaccine accessibility in Southeast Michigan,” said Mark A. Hackel, Macomb County Executive. “In Macomb County we will continue to work with our public health experts and trusted community advocates to ensure that residents can access the vaccine”
The vaccine will be offered at no cost, and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the vaccination center. Any Michigan resident who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) vaccine prioritization guidance will be able to register for an appointment. The site is not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced in the coming days. The most recent vaccine prioritization guidance can be found on Michigan’s COVID-19 website.
MDHHS follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. CDC recommendations are based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the federal advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States.
Free parking will be available at the vaccination site. For those who indicate, during the registration process, they need assistance obtaining transportation to and from the vaccination site, the state is working to provide free of charge ride share options.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.