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U of M's Big House serves as temporary COVID vaccination clinic

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
A Michigan Medicine healthcare worker gets the first of two vaccinations needed to prevent COVID-19.

The University of Michigan’s Big House is now a vaccination clinic. The football stadium that can hold more than 100,000 fans is, right now, center stage for vaccinating Michigan Medicine healthcare workers.

The healthcare system has been vaccinating frontline workers every day since December 21 at the main hospital in Ann Arbor, but it needed more space.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Dr. David Miller, Chief Clinical Officer for the University of Michigan Hospital and Cardiovascular Center at the vaccination clinic being held at the Big House.

“First, we needed enough room to allow both the vaccination teams to be here and to allow for safe social distancing for both our team members and for the patients. And so the Big House with all of the space made a lot of sense from that perspective. At the same time, there's also easy parking here,” said David Miller, the Chief Clinical Officer for the University of Michigan Hospital and Cardiovascular Center.

He says they’ve given the first vaccination to close to 7,000 workers. They’re ramping up at all of the Michigan Medicine sites and expect to be doing 2,000 first does and several thousand second dosed almost daily in a few weeks.

Astate dashboard updatedWednesday shows more than 86,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Michigan so far.

After the Phase 1-A vaccinations of healthcare workers, Michigan Medicine will coordinate with the state to help in Phase 1-B, the vaccination of people 75 and older.

“We are trying to administer the doses we receive as safely and efficiently as possible in a way that will move us to that next phase as quickly as possible. The exact. Timing depends on a number of factors, but we are doing everything we can to move that along as safely and rapidly as possible,” Miller said.

The factors to determine when that happens include the vaccine supply and the state’s guidance as it tackles the statewide efforts of healthcare systems and pharmacies.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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