Federal, state officials get a look at Ford Field vaccination site ahead of Wednesday opening

The Detroit News

Detroit — State and federal officials got a look Monday at the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Ford Field that will open Wednesday with the capability of distributing 6,000 doses a day.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and members of Michigan's congressional delegation from southeast Michigan including U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Rep. Andy Levin, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Rep. Haley Stevens and Rep. Rashida Tlaib get a tour of the Ford Field vaccination site in Detroit, Michigan, on March 22, 2021.

Protect Michigan Commission Director Kerry Ebersole Singh led the tour with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Andy Levin, Brenda Lawrence, Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib.

Other officials on hand included Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 5 Acting Regional Administrator Kevin M. Sligh Sr., FEMA Office of Equal Rights Director JoLinda Johnson, and these Department of Defense officials: Michigan Dual Status Commander Col. Sean Southworth, Dual Status Commander Title 10 Deputy Col. Jeff McDonald and Task Force Northeast Incident Support Team Officer In Charge Col. Jack Mateer.

The Ford Field vaccination site will be open from 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. seven days a week for eight weeks under the federal government's vaccination pilot program. The vaccine will be offered at no cost and insurance is not required.

Any Michigan resident who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vaccine prioritization guidance can fill out a registration form for an appointment online at clinic.meijer.com/register/CL2021.

Eligible residents can also text "EndCOVID" to 75049 or call the health department hotline at (888) 535-6136 and press 1. For those unable to text or access the internet, the call center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Vaccine eligibility was extended Monday to residents ages 16 and older with disabilities or medical conditions and by April 5, the state is expecting to expand eligibility to include all Michigan residents age 16 and up.

As of Monday, Meijer has registered 110,000 people for the FEMA site. About 14,000 people have appointments scheduled and another 20,000 appointment invitations were to be sent out by the end of the day, officials said.