Michigan Lags in COVID Vaccine Distribution

Many Michiganders are awaiting their chance to receive the COVID vaccine, but infrastructure for distribution is lagging behind the majority of the nation.

Requests are pouring into Michigan public health offices for coronavirus vaccines amid concerns of shortages. It’s been a rocky rollout so far. The CDC ranks Michigan 40th among states in vaccines administered per 100,000 residents as of Friday. Meanwhile, more than 500,000 doses of the vaccine are sitting on shelves unused according to the state’s own dashboard. So, who is to blame for the problems getting vaccines into arms in Michigan? And what do you need to know if you’re someone who might be eligible to get a vaccine at this stage in the rollout?

Listen: Even if you’re eligible to receive the much anticipated COVID vaccine, it might be a while before you actually get it. 

Crain's Detroit Business
Crain’s Detroit Business


Chad Livengood is Senior Editor with Crain’s Detroit Business. He recently wrote a piece looking at the vaccine rollout for Michigan’s elderly population

“I’m not sure totally who is to blame at this point. I do know there are some problems with the state’s numbers… that don’t tell the whole story,” says Livengood. While the state’s numbers seem to show 500,000 doses of vaccines sitting on the shelves unused, Livengood says that might not actually be the case. “They may be in transit. They may not have even left the federal warehouse yet,” he says of the state’s slow vaccine rollout so far. 

If you’re eligible or think you’re eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine, Livengood offers the following advice: “If you have an existing doctor-patient relationship, it’s best to go through them or to go through the health system… and work from there.” 

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