Detroit 'school hubs' to provide COVID-19 vaccines through August

Ben Wilson
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Health Department in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District is deploying its mobile vaccine clinic to select city schools to vaccinate more Detroiters for COVID-19.

The city and district launched the "school hubs" initiative Wednesday at East English Village High School and will continue to offer first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to ages 12 and up at the site as well as Renaissance High School and Munger School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on select dates through August. 

Detroit Health Department nurse Tenisha Thomas, right, helps April Botten and her mother, Crystal, sign up for the free COVID vaccine at East English Village High School in Detroit on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The DHD and the Detroit Public Schools Community District are providing free COVID vaccinations at multiple locations thru July and August.

The events, being extended ahead of the fall return to in-person learning, are the latest attempt by officials in the city to get more Detroiters vaccinated amid growing concern over the circulation of the delta variant of the virus and a rate of vaccination that lags neighboring counties. 

“We want everyone to feel confident about returning to school this fall, so they can fully participate in sports and all the extracurricular activities that are an important part of getting an education," Denise Fair, Detroit's chief public health officer, said in a statement. "I want everyone to stay safe and healthy, and these vaccines are the most important tool we have in fighting COVID-19."

In Detroit, only about 38% of residents so far have received one dose of the vaccine, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared to 63% in outer-Wayne County, 55% in Macomb County and 66% in Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

"DPSCD is continuing to collaborate with the Detroit Health Department to ensure eligible students and families are vaccinated and ready for the first day of school on September 7, 2021," added Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of DPSCD. "We encourage you to do your research and get vaccinated. If you're already vaccinated, share this opportunity with friends and family. We can help protect one another by getting the vaccine."

Detroit Health Department nurse Angela Norment administers a COVID vaccine shot to April Botten at East English Village High School.

First doses of the vaccine will be offered at Renaissance High School on July 19 and 26; East English Village High School on July 24 and 28; and Munger Middle School on July 15, 22 and 29. 

Second doses of the vaccine will be available at Renaissance on Aug. 2, 9 and 16; East English Village on Aug. 4, 11 and 18; and Munger on Aug. 5, 12 and 19, the Health Department noted.

Detroit has offered "good neighbor" incentives to get more residents vaccinated as well as walk-up vaccination clinics at the TCF Center, Farewell Recreational Center, Northwest Activities Center and the Samaritan Center, among other options. 

As of Wednesday, the city has recorded 51,682 confirmed cases of the virus and 2,295 deaths since March 2020. 

For information, a full list of vaccination sites or to schedule an in-home appointment, call (313) 230-0505.