LANSING, Mich. – In preparation to work upcoming mass vaccination clinics, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail and several other health department employees received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this afternoon. Vail urges frontline health care workers to follow suit and get the vaccine when it is available to them.
The Ingham County Health Department received the new Pfizer vaccine yesterday and has begun vaccinating its vaccination team. The team will vaccinate health care workers in mass starting next week. The team will focus on vaccinating emergency medical services (EMS) workers first. Concurrently, local hospital systems are vaccinating their workers, and pharmacies are vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities.
“The vaccine is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and bringing an end to this pandemic,” said Vail. “This is great news, but more long weeks and months lie ahead. We must continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash our hands. We are not done yet, but we now have a very powerful tool in our toolbox for fighting COVID-19.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized use of the vaccine under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The vaccine uses mRNA technology. This allows the vaccine to work without infecting the body with COVID-19 or interacting with a person’s DNA. The first vaccine released under an EUA was a vaccine for anthrax in 2005.
Details regarding the times and locations of the mass vaccination clinics are undisclosed at this time as the clinics are not yet open to the general public. ICHD will vaccinate people according to prioritization set by the State of Michigan and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The current prioritization plan can be found here: http://www.hd.ingham.org/Portals/HD/Home/Documents/cd/coronavirus/CoVVaxPrioritization.pdf