Equitable, efficient distribution of vaccine is key challenge

As we enter the second full week of January, we will also enter a new phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Michigan.

Starting Monday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is moving forward with vaccinating residents who are 65 and older; frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers, jail and prison staff; and PreK-12 teachers and child care providers.

It’s good to see the vaccination process move forward and include those 65 and older, as 80% of COVID-19 deaths to date have occurred in that group, according to the MDHHS.

We encourage national, state and local officials to work collaboratively and efficiently to continue moving the vaccination process forward with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.

This is critical, as vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible right now is key to saving lives, especially amid a wave of new cases and deaths — and the arrival of a new virus variant — in the U.S.

The importance of our actions — and our leaders’ actions — at this critical juncture cannot be understated.

Due to this, we encourage anyone eligible to receive a vaccine at this point to do so. Getting vaccinated can protect your life, and likely the lives of many others.

We know some have concerns about vaccine safety after the unprecedented rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, local, state, national and international leaders and health experts emphasize that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

And at this time, we feel it is important to trust our doctors, scientists, public health experts and other leaders in the fact that the benefits of these vaccines likely far outweigh the risks.

The vaccines may not be an immediate magic bullet, but if we can distribute this vaccine quickly, effectively and equitably, we have a far better chance of fighting this virus, preventing further deaths, and maybe even returning to some semblance of normalcy.

In the meantime, we must continue practicing COVID-19 safety measures and continue encouraging our leaders at all levels to participate in a rapid and equitable vaccine rollout.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today