LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive on Friday ordering state departments and agencies to move as quickly as possible to ensure vulnerable individuals can get an additional dose of two types of COVID-19 vaccine. The directive comes on the heels of the CDC advisory committee directive approving the additional dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people ages 12 and up who have compromised immune systems.
The state’s directive specifically encourages the administering to those in long-term care facilities within the state, but it also includes any eligible Michiganders who fall under the category of immunocompromised.
“Throughout the pandemic, our top priority has been protecting those who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, including older Michiganders, residents in long-term care facilities, and immunocompromised individuals,” said Governor Whitmer. “When vaccines first became available, we ensured that 100 percent of residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities had first dibs at the safe and effective vaccines. Now, it’s important that we continue to prioritize these Michiganders by rushing an additional dose to those who need it most.”
The MDHHS is working with local providers to get Michigan residents with compromised immune systems an additional dose. This will help protect against the delta variant, as well as other variants.
“The safe and effective COVID vaccine is the way we are going to end this pandemic. I am pleased that our federal partners have taken action to recommend an additional vaccine dose for those with compromised immune systems,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy director for health. “I urge anyone who is immunocompromised and meets the eligibility criteria to get an additional dose. And I continue to encourage anyone who is eligible and has not been vaccinated yet to do so to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.
Michigan has an ample supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to meet the demand. An additional dose will be available for anyone who is eligible effective Saturday, Aug. 14.
“MDHHS remains committed to ensuring that anyone who is eligible gets the COVID-19 vaccine,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “The vaccine has been proven highly effective and safe, however, as we deal with variants it is important for those of us who are immunocompromised to receive another dose.”
MDHHS is communicating guidance on the additional dose to vaccine providers. Health care providers will decide who is at-risk and eligible for an additional dose. This could include individuals who have received organ or stem cell transplants, have advanced or untreated HIV infection, or are in active treatment for cancer or taking high-dose corticosteroids.
Additional doses are available to eligible individuals who have received two doses of mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). The additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be received at a minimum interval of 28 days after completion of the two dose primary vaccination series. Anyone who has received Pfizer or Moderna previously should attempt to receive an additional dose of the same vaccine, but you may receive either type of vaccine if the one you previously received is not available. Booster doses are not currently recommended for the general population.
The CDC panel did not make a recommendation for an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
MDHHS is communicating with long-term care facilities regarding third dose vaccines for residents. A plan to provide the additional doses for congregate settings that include long-term-care, skilled nursing and adult foster care facilities; Michigan state hospitals; and state prisons has been activated now that the recommendation has been issued.
The Michigan Care Improvement Registry that tracks records of vaccination will be updated to record the additional dose. There is no need to provide a vaccination card to receive the additional dose. Immunocompromised residents seeking the additional dose can get it from their local health department, physician or pharmacy. MDHHS recommends calling ahead to make sure the vaccine is available.
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