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Healthcare workers will be first people to get COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan, state plan says

MDHHS has released its interim priority plan for when a COVID-19 vaccine gets the green light in the U.S.

LANSING, Mich. — Healthcare workers will be the first people in Michigan to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an interim priority plan released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday. 

The vaccine would then be distributed by local health departments to people most vulnerable to the severe complications of COVID-19, according to MDHHS' COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. That would also include first responders, people who live in or work at long-tern facilities, prisons or jails, homeless shelters, people over 65, and those with underlying health conditions.

RELATED: Federal health officials unveil plan to get coronavirus shots to nursing homes

Health officials are anticipating high demand and shortages of the vaccine, especially initially. State public health departments were required to submit plans to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month as the race to develop a vaccine enters the home stretch. Dozens of vaccines are currently in clinical trials, and some companies say they could know whether they vaccine is ready for mass distribution by as early as mid-November.

RELATED: Pfizer: Mid-November earliest it can seek virus vaccine OK

Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan would also include vaccinating essential workers at grocery stores, food distribution centers, and other high-risk populations. 

In Phase 3, state health officials predict the vaccine will be more accessible, and expects to open it to the general public. It would be available at pharmacies, local health clinics, hospitals, school-based health centers, and established COVID-19 testing sites.  

Some of the COVID-19 vaccines under development will require a second, booster dose. In the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, providers will be responsible for mailing postcards to patients to remind them to get their second shot. Postcards will also be mailed about to people to encourage them to get vaccinated through public health campaigns at schools and churches and through health insurance companies, employers, and colleges and universities statewide. 

The plan is in its infancy right now and it's not yet clear when a successful COVID-19 vaccine will be available or which company will be the first to deliver it. 

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