Detroit, Oakland County begin Pfizer COVID-19 booster clinics

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Southfield — Oakland County's Health Division and the city of Detroit on Wednesday each began offering COVID-19 booster clinics amid a monthslong uptick in virus cases. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the city is providing Pfizer booster doses at all city-run vaccination sites. 

Wayne White, 66, of Southfield, receives a booster Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from an Oakland County Health Department nurse at the Southfield Pavilion on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

The city's vaccine clinics will offer the FDA-approved Pfizer booster shot to immunocompromised individuals, those 65 and older and "residents whose occupation puts them at increased risk of the virus," the city said. To get the booster, at least six months must have passed from the last vaccine dose.

Since March 2020, Detroit has recorded 56,743 cases of COVID-19 and 2,373 deaths from the virus. 

As of Tuesday, 44.7% of the city's 12 and older population had received at least one vaccine dose. That puts Detroit far behind suburban Wayne and Washtenaw counties with 70%, Macomb County at 61.3% and Oakland County at 72.2%.

"We started to see that at six months (the protection of the vaccine) started to drop off," Duggan said at a Wednesday press conference at Detroit's Public Safety Headquarters.

"Two months from today is Thanksgiving," he said. "We could lose another holiday with our families.

"In all likelihood, COVID is going to be running through southeast Michigan in a few months," Duggan said. 

Oakland County's Health Division meanwhile began offering booster shots Wednesday at the Southfield Pavilion. Doses will be offered to those eligible at indoor and outdoor clinics at other sites throughout the week. 

Nearly 293,000 of eligible Oakland County residents remain unvaccinated, at least 47,000 of whom are 12-19 years old, the county said Wednesday.

Of the more than 4,300 new cases in Oakland County from Sept. 6-19, 57.7% of the new cases were 39 years old or younger. Residents who are 18 years or younger accounted for 26% of the new cases. Oakland County’s seven-day confirmed case average is 244 new cases per day.

“It remains essential for unvaccinated individuals to begin their series of COVID-19 vaccines to help prevent the transmission of the disease even as the Pfizer booster becomes available to those who have received two Pfizer doses,” said Oakland County Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust in a statement Tuesday. “Those who are unsure about whether to get a vaccine or booster or have questions should consult a healthcare provider.”

Michigan on Wednesday added 6,733 cases and 100 deaths from COVID-19, including cases from Tuesday. Half of the latest deaths reported Wednesday were identified during a vital records review. 

Oakland County Health Department nurse Danielle White administers a booster Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine  to Kim Sullivan, 68, of Berkley, at the Southfield Pavilion on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

The state's COVID-19 infection rates have been trending upward for 12 weeks amid the highly contagious delta variant.

The state has recorded 1,022,575 confirmed cases of the virus and 20,998 deaths since the virus was first detected here in March 2020, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

For information about Detroit's vaccine clinics, call (313) 230-0505 or visit vaccinatedetroit.com. Oakland County clinic information is available at OaklandCountyVaccine.com.