Detroit will administer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine at several neighborhood locations next week. Eight sites including Henry Ford High School, Brenda Scott Academy, Randolph Career and Technical Education School, Western High School, Breithaupt Career Center, East English Village Preparatory Academy and Cass Tech High School will be open for one day of inoculations.
“We are creating more access for Detroiters across the city, bringing eight new locations online next week in partnership with DPSCD and the Islamic Center of Detroit,” says Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair, as the city is adding the sites through community partnerships to stop the spread.
The effort includes the Islamic Center of Detroit, as public health officials extend their outreach to practicing Muslims during Ramadan, which begins next week.
“Our scholars determined that getting vaccination while you are fasting is OK,” says Sufian Nabhan, Executive Director of the Islamic Center of Detroit. “It will not break your fast. So please get vaccinated.”
City officials are scheduling appointments through the Detroit Health Department’s vaccine hotline at 313-230-0505, urging vaccinations during the city’s spike in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
The city is seeing the worst COVID-19 infection rates since the onset of the pandemic, officials say, as Michigan leads the nation in new cases. Hospitalizations in Detroit have tripled over the last two weeks while the city falls behind the state average for vaccinations. According to city data, 21% of the Detroit’s adult population has been vaccinated.
The city is seeing a coronavirus positivity rate of more than 16%. That’s up from 2.6% a month ago. Michigan is seeing a rise in cases, too.
Fair says 40% of the Detroit’s new cases are people between the ages of 20 and 39 years old.
When asked if he would impose new restrictions in the city, Duggan says he’s following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s guidance during the new surge.
“I don’t know if we have evidence that the spread is occurring at stores or sit-down restaurants. I think the spread is occurring at family and social gatherings,” Duggan says.
Health officials and epidemiologists point to several factors driving Michigan’s surge of new cases including general fatigue from the pandemic, the relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and mask usage, travel around spring break holiday and the increasing prevalence of the more transmissible B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain in the state, also known as the United Kingdom variant.
“The real question the governor’s got to answer is, ‘Are restrictions going to have a significant effect on this?’” Duggan adds.
Public health officials are encouraging any Michigan resident 16 years and older to get the shot.
According to the Detroit Health Department, the city has administered more than 220,000 vaccines.