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Western Upper Peninsula advances to Phase 1B; additional planning underway

HANCOCK — The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) announces that the agency is set to begin COVID-19 vaccination of residents age 65 years or older. The first clinics will be held beginning Monday, Jan. 11, at both the Hancock and Bessemer locations, with limited appointments available.

Due to the lack of a sufficient supply of vaccine, clinics are by appointment only. No walk-in clinics will be held. WUPHD has launched on online scheduling tool for appointments. The tool can be found at https://westernuphealthdepartmentscheduler.as.me/schedule.php. People are encouraged to check the website frequently for newly added clinics and locations. Residents may also call 906-482-7382 for assistance with making an online appointment.

Michigan is currently in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination effort. Phase 1B includes residents age 65 and older; frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers and jail and prison staff; and preK-12 teachers and childcare providers.

WUPHD and local partners including Aspirus, UP Health Systems-Portage, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, and Baraga County Memorial Hospital met again today to share preliminary plans associated with this new phase. Residents are encouraged to watch for additional announcements regarding vaccine clinic availability from these partners.

The overall strategy is to have residents 65 and older reach out to the health department or their healthcare provider to schedule a vaccination. Frontline essential workers should reach out to their employer for additional information, as WUPHD expects to work directly with employers to coordinate clinics for their workers.

Future plans include the establishment of regular community vaccination sites staffed by partnering providers.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit www.wuphd.org, michigan.gov/coronavirus, or cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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