By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – At the Wayne County Healthy Communities Storefront, on 9021 Jos. Campau Street, the staff are able to schedule 100 appointments each day for the COVID-19 vaccine. Although located in Hamtramck, the healthcare clinic is able to provide vaccines to any Wayne County residents.
The ability to hold so many appointments in the small Detroit enclave is because of the steady stream of supply that’s provided to the Hamtramck location. Raouf Seifeldin, MD says that the clinic is often sharing supplies of the vaccine with other clinics in order to make sure that they’re all used before the vaccine’s expiration.
“We get a constant supply in our clinic, and we at times are distributors of the vaccine to other clinics,” Seifeldin said. “So the supply is steady.”
In order to get an appointment, a patient who is part of the current phase of residents would need to call 313-871-1926 in order to schedule the appointment. When they go in for their appointment, they should expect to wait 15 minutes after the vaccine in order to monitor for any adverse effects from the vaccine.
Hamtramck is a part of a number of communities in Michigan that rank high on the Center for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI). The index uses a number of factors, including the rate of poverty in a community and the number of community members who struggle with English.
Other communities, like Ecorse and Highland Park, will also receive a relatively high number of vaccine doses, while most other communities will be given a number of doses based on their population.
Certain groups are approved to receive the vaccine through phases. As of Mar. 2, the state is still between Phase 1B and 1C, which includes agricultural workers, school and prison workers, frontline responders and other vulnerable groups. This is part of a larger plan of distribution for the vaccine that state leaders hope will get 70% of Michigan’s population vaccinated by the end of 2021.
The plan as it stands now involves a combined approach of accounting for a community’s population, and score on the Social Vulnerability Index.
Wayne County and Detroit are working to put shots in arms
Assad I. Turfe is the Chief of Staff for Wayne County. He says that the effort to get seniors vaccinated in Wayne County has been an active process, with local health departments’ work accelerated by Wayne County efforts.
In data provided by Wayne County, many communities qualify at exceptionally high rates for additional vaccination assistance. Cities like Inkster and Ecorse scored above 0.9 for the social vulnerability index. While Hamtramck, Highland Park, Melvindale and River Rouge scored above 0.8 in the SVI.
As a collaborative effort, Wayne County is asking cities to connect their seniors with the County’s vaccination opportunities, through mobile clinics. This means that while the county provides the necessary supply to vaccinate seniors, the city is responsible for making sure those seniors attend their appointment.
“Like for Hamtramck, we made sure they were the first ones,” Turfe said. “And there’s definitely language barriers. So the Hamtramck community knows their community the best, they’ll know how to go and find their seniors.”
In Detroit, the TCF Center has been mobilized for a full-scale vaccination effort that has recently expanded to include people who reside outside of Detroit. Through the “Good Neighbor” program, people driving seniors aged 65+ are eligible to also receive a vaccine, given the driver is at least 55 years old.
Today, Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan is expected to expand the eligibility requirements, in hopes that everyone whose life would be threatened if they contracted COVID-19 would be able to receive a vaccine within a few months.