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Vaccine pilot program targets 43,000 in underserved populations from Crain’s Detroit Business

April 22, 2021

More than 43,000 Michiganders living in underserved communities received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in a month-old pilot program coordinated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Protect Michigan Commission.

In early March, MDHHS and the Protect Michigan Commission awarded 35,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 22 entities across Michigan that include hospitals, health departments, a fire department, an Area Agency on Aging and a behavioral health authority to help enhance the state’s vaccine equity strategy.

People identified high on the social vulnerability index — a measurement that uses uses 15 census variables to help identify at-risk individuals during or after disasters — were targeted for the program.

A total of 14,678 vaccines were administered within the first week. Several pilot sites administered all their vaccine allotment within the first week and received 8,000 additional vaccines to distribute in the second week and another 12,200 in the third week. In total, 43,797 vaccines were administered statewide as a part of the pilot. Second doses will be arriving at pilot sites over the next few weeks.

“We are thrilled that thousands of Michiganders who might not have been able to easily access the COVID-19 vaccine are now protected thanks to the efforts of these pilot sites,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, in a statement. “As we continue our efforts to reach these vulnerable populations, we will be drawing from the successes and lessons learned from this pilot program.”

Last month, Crain’s reported the growing effort of the state, hospitals, home health agencies and other providers to reach the homebound elderly and underserved. Over the past two weeks, Michigan has moved slightly ahead of the national average of 25.7 percent rate for all people and are now at 26 percent of people fully vaccinated, the CDC said. Overall, 209 million doses have been distributed with 84.3 million fully vaccinated.

The pilot program includes the following participants:

  • Henry Ford Health System built a partnership with the Islamic Center and worked with imams and religious leaders to help encourage the community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, stressing that it was not forbidden due to Ramadan.
  • Wayne Health offered other services on-site at their vaccination clinics that included blood pressure screening and linkage to medical care.
  • Mid-Michigan Health sent five two-person teams door-to-door and provided at-home vaccinations to 50 people in Alpena.
  • The Dearborn Fire Department embarked on vaccination visits to 14 senior complexes throughout seven communities.
  • Advanced Health Pharmacy in Kalamazoo worked with local community organizations to set up five vaccination events in five days — in parking lots and churches, with drive-through and walk-in options. More than 1,100 people in the first two days at an outdoor vaccination event and another 1,400 were vaccinated at additional events throughout the rest of the first week.

Other organizations are participating in the community outreach pilot project include:

  • Advanced Pharmacy – Kalamazoo County
  • Alma Family Practice, P.C. – Gratiot County
  • Allegan County Health Department – Allegan County
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) – Wayne County
  • Bay-Arenac Behavioral Health Authority – Bay County
  • Calhoun County Public Health Department – Calhoun County
  • Covered Bridge Healthcare – St. Joseph County
  • Cristo Rey Family Health Center – Ingham County
  • Dearborn Fire Department – Wayne County
  • Genoa Healthcare – Oakland County
  • Henry Ford Health System – Macomb, Wayne, Jackson, Oakland counties
  • Ingham County Health Department – Ingham County
  • Kent County Health Department – Kent County
  • Mid-Michigan Health – Alcona, Alpena, Clare counties
  • Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc. – Oceana, Mason, Manistee, Benzie counties
  • Saginaw County Health Department – Saginaw County
  • Region VII Area Agency on Aging – Saginaw County
  • Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital – Schoolcraft County
  • St. Clair County Health Department – St. Clair County
  • Wayne Health – Wayne County
  • Washtenaw County Health Department – Washtenaw County
  • Western Wayne Family Health Center – Wayne County

Click here for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and resources.

Read, “Vaccine pilot program targets 43,000 in underserved populations” from Crain’s Detroit Business.

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Vaccine pilot program targets 43,000 in underserved populations from Crain’s Detroit Business

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