Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joins nationwide effort to boost COVID-19 vaccinations

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan is joining mayors from cities across the country in a Month of Action to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.

The "Mayor's Challenge" competition will determine which city can ramp up its vaccination rate the most by July 4. 

The effort is led by the United States Conference of Mayors in partnership with the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout the month, mayors are asked to find new ways to boost vaccine efforts. Detroit will announce its initiative next week, Duggan's office said in a press release Friday.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gets the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a press conference at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters in Detroit on Dec. 22, 2020, from registered nurse Katy Isles.

“The City of Detroit and Detroit Health Department have led the country in innovative strategies to increase vaccination numbers, but we still need to get more of our residents vaccinated,” Duggan said. “In addition to ramping up promotion of our existing vaccination locations and opportunities, we expect to announce another important strategy next week to reach even more of our residents.”

In Michigan, about 59% of adults 16 and older have received one dose. When including those age 12 and older, that rate drops to 54%.

In Detroit, rates lag. About 35% of residents so far have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared to 60% in outer-Wayne County, 52% in Macomb County and 63% in Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

To ramp up vaccinations, the city is already offering "good neighbor" $50 incentives and walk-up vaccination clinics at the TCF Center, Farewell Recreational Center, Northwest Activities Center and the Samaritan Center. No appointment is needed.

There's also multiple pop-up clinics in neighborhoods, schools, churches, community centers, grocery stores and parks. A full list can be found online at www.detroitmi.gov.

Canvassing teams also continue to go door-to-door to educate residents in areas where vaccination rates are low. The teams are expected to have reached all Detroit homes by the end of August.

The digital marquee in front of the TCF Center in downtown Detroit promotes making an appointment for Detroiters to get vaccinated, Thursday, March 4, 2021.

The Detroit Health Department Mobile Unit is expected to pop up at Belle Isle and major city events including Flower Days every Tuesday at Eastern Market, Monroe Midway, Riverfront festivals and concerts.

The city also plans on targeting communities by hosting weekly town halls at barber shops, beauty salons, with youth athletic groups and with the disabled community.

Residents can find their nearest vaccine site by texting their address to (313) 217-3732.

“We will do everything we can to continue getting Detroiters vaccinated and meeting people where they are,” said Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair. “Now is the time to come together as a community to save lives. This is a challenge we all want to win.”

Westland Mayor William Wild and Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor also have joined in the challenge. 

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_