WJRT ABC 12 Flint: 200 more federal workers helping with Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Defense Department, Coast Guard and U.S. Forest Service personnel assigned to three community vaccine clinics

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Another 200 federal workers are coming to help administer COVID-19 vaccine at three of Michigan largest community clinics.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the U.S. Department of Defense, Coast Guard and Forest Service are sending additional employees to help with vaccination efforts at Ford Field and the TCF Center in Detroit, along with DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

Federal support also will allow the state to provide additional ambulance personnel for each of the three sites. Additional resources to staff clinical and nonclinical roles began arriving Wednesday and will be deployed fully by next Wednesday, Whitmer said.

“We appreciate the support from our federal partners, especially adding additional boots on the ground to allow for more shots in arms more quickly,” said Whitmer. “We are still fighting this virus, and we must continue masking up, socially distancing, washing our hands, and crucially, getting vaccinated. I will continue fighting to make sure Michigan gets the support it needs so we can get back to normal sooner.”

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan said he leveraged his position as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to ask FEMA for support of Whitmer’s request for additional federal COVID-19 vaccine resources while the state led the nation in illness spread this month.

“This deployment is a part of our continued commitment to support the State of Michigan’s vaccination effort,” said Kevin M. Sligh, FEMA Region 5 Acting Regional Administrator. “Along with these personnel, FEMA will work together with the state to identify any additional resources that can be brought to bear to vaccinate Michiganders as quickly as possible.”

As of Thursday, Michigan health care providers have administered 6.28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 3.785 million people. About 46.7% of residents age 16 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine while 33% of adult residents are fully vaccinated.

Whitmer has set a goal of administering 100,000 doses every day to help reach the goal of vaccinated 70% of Michigan’s adult population this year, which would bring the state to a level of herd immunity.

Source: WJRT ABC 12 Flint