LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials revealed a new list of priority phases for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated the phases for essential workers and residents at high risk of severe infection.

“Some essential workers are at higher risk of exposure or exposing others due to the nature of their work and older individuals, particularly those with underlying health conditions, are particularly vulnerable to the virus,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “As new information is learned, this guidance will continue to evolve.”

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Michigan is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recommended guidelines for phases 1B and 1C of vaccine distribution were updated Sunday (Dec. 20) to try to balance prevention and societal function.

Here are the updated phases:

Phase 1: Paid and unpaid workers in health care settings who could be directly or indirectly exposed to patients or infectious materials and can’t work from home, as well as residents in long-term care facilities.
Phase 1B: Anyone 75 years of age or older, as well as frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.
Phase 1C: Anyone 16 years of age or older who is also at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection, as well as some other essential workers whose positions impact life, safety and protection during the pandemic.
Phase 2: Residents 16 years of age or older.
The phases could change again as more information is discovered about the vaccine, state officials said.

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Vaccination doesn’t necessarily need to be completed in one phase before vaccination in another phase begins, officials said.

Decisions on moving to the next phase will be made at the state level.

More than 231,000 doses of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to local health departments and hospitals across the state, with over 120,000 additional doses expected next week. This data is being tracked on the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

Michigan health officials have set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16, about 5.6 million people, by the end of 2021. There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine, but health care providers might bill insurance for administrative costs.

The COVID-19 vaccine will require two doses, separated by three or four weeks, depending on the manufacturer. Michiganders should receive both doses in order to have full protection from the virus.

Anyone who receives the vaccine might experience mild side effects, such as a low-grade fever, sore arm and general discomfort, which indicate that the vaccine is working.

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