Whitmer, Dingell Tour Washtenaw County’s Vaccination Clinic, aims to improve access for those in need

YPSILANTI, MI – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell at the Washtenaw County Mass Vaccination Clinic Monday morning to encourage Michiganders to get vaccinated to discuss vaccine access and fair distribution efforts.

Those in charge highlighted the efforts of the Washtenaw County’s Department of Health and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, who have partnered with the Department of Health to support its vaccination clinics.

Dingell, D-Dearborn, and Whitmer were joined by Jimena Loveluck, Washtenaw County’s Health Officer, on the tour of the Convocation Center at Eastern Michigan University on April 12. Alonzo Lewis, CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospitals; and Rev. Larry Davis, pastor of the Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Ypsilanti.

It took a community effort, which included conversations with Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill, County Commissioner Justin Hodge, and Dingell, to give Washtenaw County’s blacks better access to vaccines, Davis said.

“It took the movers and shakers to get to where we are today,” said Davis. “We were tired of you making all the plans for us and then telling us to come. We want to sit at the table. Greg Dill made it happen. “

Davis thanked Loveluck and her staff for their efforts, including the Nurse on the Run program and several pop-up clinics in district churches. In March, the Washtenaw County Health Department teamed up with local partners to host vaccination sites in areas of the county with a high index of social vulnerability.

After the tour, Dingell announced several new pop-up clinics coming to areas of the county hardest hit by the virus.

Several churches in Ypsilanti, including the Second Baptist Church, New Covenant Missionary Baptist, and Brown Chapel Church, are slated to receive more pop-up clinics in the coming weeks, Dingell said. St. Francis Church in Ann Arbor will also receive pop-up clinics, she said.

WWU students and staff will have access to vaccines at Eastern Michigan University from Tuesday, April 13 through Friday, April 16 through university-operated clinics. The clinics will deliver 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine per day from the university’s McKenny ballroom.

“Everyone has to do their part, and that’s why we’re asking Michiganders across the state to improve their game, double the wearing of masks, and I’ve asked people to take voluntary action to bring those numbers down,” Whitmer said Monday.

On April 9, Whitmer recommended but did not pretend to avoid eating indoors, high schools that are virtual, and youth sports that were paused for two weeks to stop the virus from spreading.

“We still have a mask mandate unlike many other states. We still have restrictions on indoor gatherings of 25 or less, and just because 25 is allowed doesn’t mean it’s ideal,” Whitmer said.

The state makes decisions based on the numbers, prevalence and distribution of vaccines, Whitmer said.

As of Arpil 8, Washtenaw County received 219,905 doses of vaccine. Almost 82% of residents aged 65 and over have received a vaccine, while 43.2% of all adults have received at least one dose.

Washtenaw County residents can schedule appointments on their own. New vaccine appointments will be added to the Department of Health’s website at least weekly, or when existing appointments are canceled, according to health officials.

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