Michigan expands vaccine eligibility to all 50+, some 16+

NOW: Michigan expands vaccine eligibility to all 50+, some 16+

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Anyone 50 and older can now make a vaccine appointment, as well as people 16 and up with disabilities or health conditions.

While vaccinations are ongoing for previous groups, health officials say it’s important to let phases mix together so they can immunize people faster.

In Berrien County, they’re already setting availability for this week.

“Nearly 30 percent of those eligible have been able to get at least one dose already, we have been receiving more supplies of vaccine which is a good thing because we know the demand is picking up,” said Gillian Conrad, MPH, Communications Director at the Berrien County Health Department.

Michigan is just one step away from being able to vaccinate all eligible groups – in just two weeks, everyone who’s at least 16 can sign up.

To take on this mass group, Berrien County has already decided to do away with pre-registration.

“People are able to schedule themselves an appointment when it’s convenient for them, we will be posting new appointment availability generally on Mondays and Wednesdays in the morning,” said Conrad.

Conrad said getting young people vaccinated will be one of the most important steps in ending the pandemic. 

“We need herd immunity levels with at least 70 percent of our population having had some immunity, whether through vaccination or having had COVID-19,” she said.

The Berrien County Health Department’s newsletter will have links to make an appointment as they are available.

If internet is a hurdle, people can call the COVID-19 hotline at 800-815-5485 to schedule.

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