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Michigan Medicine vaccinates first employees for COVID-19

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Michigan Medicine began vaccinating people against COVID-19 today with an initial group of five frontline workers.

The first employee vaccinated, Johnnie Peoples, is a registered nurse with Survival Flight, Michigan Medicine’s critical care transport program. The others who received vaccinations today are a registered nurse in the Emergency Department, a physician in Infectious Diseases, a physician in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and a resident physician in Internal Medicine.

Today’s initial shipment included 1,950 doses of the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech vaccine. Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan, expects to vaccinate about 40 employees beginning Tuesday and ramping up the volume further as early as next week, depending on supply

“This is a great day! Over the many debilitating months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have longed for the initiation of an effective vaccination program. We are absolutely delighted that we now begin vaccination for the faculty and staff of Michigan Medicine who have cared for so many during this pandemic.” said Marschall S. Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine, dean of the U-M Medical School and executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan.

“However, it will take time to get to everyone who wants a vaccine. While distribution continues, it’s vital for all of us to continue to social distance and wear masks when going out in public.”

This milestone marks the culmination of months of hard work, including the collaboration of dozens of U-M experts reviewing safety and efficacy data and coordinating a robust vaccine distribution program.

“I would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to get us to this point: immunizing the first health care workers in our system,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel. “This is a historic moment that reflects outstanding expertise and collaboration.”

Because the academic medical center includes approximately 28,000 employees and initial supply is limited, Michigan Medicine is coordinating a phased approach of priority groups to offer the vaccine based on state and federal guidelines.

Michigan Medicine is following the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization from the federal government, and will be administering the two-shot vaccine as tested in the clinical trial.

Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Taskforce is identifying the first groups to be vaccinated based on guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). MDHHS follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a CDC advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States.

The CDC and ACIP have defined populations for different vaccination phases:  

  • Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.  
  • Phase 1B includes workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.  
  • Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
  • Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.  

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·         For the latest information on Michigan Medicine plans and policies, visit our FAQ page that is updated frequently.

About Michigan Medicine: At Michigan Medicine, we advance health to serve Michigan and the world. We pursue excellence every day in our three hospitals, 125 clinics and home care operations that handle more than 2.3 million outpatient visits a year, as well as educate the next generation of physicians, health professionals and scientists in our U-M Medical School.

Michigan Medicine includes the top ranked U-M Medical School and the University of Michigan Health System, which includes the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, University Hospital, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Rogel Cancer Center. Michigan Medicine’s adult hospitals were ranked no. 11 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2019-20 and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was the only children’s hospital in Michigan nationally ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties analyzed by U.S. News and World Report for 2019-20. The U-M Medical School is one of the nation's biomedical research powerhouses, with total research funding of more than $500 million.

More information is available at www.michiganmedicine.org

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