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Western Upper Peninsula Health Department announces preliminary plans for COVID-19 vaccine roll out

HANCOCK – The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) announces that initial allotments of COVID-19 vaccine are beginning to arrive across the state, with vaccinations expected to begin next week throughout the Upper Peninsula. The vaccination process is anticipated to be a large undertaking with multiple community partners involved including local hospitals, physicians, and federally qualified health centers.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 will the first vaccine to arrive this week, followed shortly by Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine is currently approved for individuals over 16 years of age and initial allotments will be designated for those in the highest priority group as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include:

— Healthcare personnel

— Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

— Skilled nursing facility staff and residents

Once the vaccine arrives in the Upper Peninsula, facilities receiving the allotments will begin vaccinating those in the highest priority group as listed above.

Pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens, have been contracted to vaccinate staff and residents of long-term care facilities and will directly receive COVID-19 vaccine allotments. Local tribal health departments will be receiving allotments directly from Indian Health Services (IHS) for vaccination of tribal members, and Michigan Department of Corrections will receive direct allotments for administration to staff and inmates.

The Upper Peninsula should be receiving additional vaccine on a weekly basis, with the vaccination process continuing as supply and demand allow. It is expected that vaccine availability will be limited to the highest risk individuals in the first several months and that vaccine will be available to the general public during the spring of 2021.

For additional information, visit www.wuphd.org or at www.michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

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