Beginning Monday, March 22, Michigan residents ages 16 years and up with high risk medical conditions or disabilities and people 50 years and older regardless of their health become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. High risk medical conditions considered vaccine eligible include asthma, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and obesity (BMI 30 and above).
On Monday, April 5, the vaccine pool opens up further to previously ineligible people ages 16 years and older. However, demand for the vaccine may outpace supply for several weeks. State officials urge patience in booking appointments.
An estimated 79,000 food processing and agricultural workers became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1, followed by people 50 years and older with high risk medical conditions and guardians who care for children with special health needs on March 8. In February, food service workers living or working in Detroit could begin scheduling appointments to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The latest push to rapidly expand eligibility to more people this spring is in hopes of reaching a goal set by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to vaccinate 70 percent of Michigan residents over the age of 16 by the end of 2021.
Ramping up vaccines comes as Michigan restaurants and bars were allowed to increase indoor dining capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent on March 5. A closing curfew continues to remain in place. Restaurants and bars must now close by 11 p.m., rather than 10 p.m.
While COVID-19 outbreaks across the state have decreased slightly or plateaued, the true impact of allowing restaurants and bars to reopen for indoor dining at 50 percent capacity will likely not be known for at least another three to four weeks.
Michigan residents seeking vaccine information or to register for a vaccine appointment should visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine. People can also check local health departments, hospitals, and pharmacies for vaccine appointments.