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Ford Field taking walk-ins for Johnson & Johnson and second dose Pfizer vaccinations through May 17

a table set up with people around it at the Ford Field vaccination site in Detroit
Vince Duffy
Michigan Radio

Anyone 18 and older can now get a free one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination at Ford Field in Detroit, during the final two weeks of the federal mass vaccination site's operation.

The site is also providing free second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to anyone 16 and older regardless of where they got their first dose. The first dose needs to have taken place 21 days before the second dose can be given, and people should bring their CDC vaccination card to Ford Field.

"With the J & J, it's a single dose so we're able to vaccinate more people in the short amount of time that we have left of our operation here," said Dr. Steven Rockoff, medical director for the Ford Field site.

"It always was in our plan for the last two weeks of our operation to do a single dose vaccine," said Dr. Rockoff. "That way people do not have to worry about where to follow up."

Dr. Rockoff said the Ford Field site is accepting walk-ins from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., seven days a week, through Monday, May 17. Walk-ins should enter Ford Field through Gate G.

"We're a very convenient site," said Dr. Rockoff. "We have easy parking, and we've been told we have very efficient processes in place to get people through as quickly as we can."

Dr. Rockoff said they have ample supplies of vaccines on hand to accomodate walk-ins and appointments. 

"We want to make sure that we protect as many people as possible. Do it for yourself, do it for your family and your loved ones," said Dr. Rockoff. "And do it for your community as a whole. If we all protect ourselves, we'll stop the virus from spreading, and then we can end the pandemic."

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a reopening plan that links the percentage of Michiganders who have received their first vaccine to the removal of specific COVID-related restrictions. The last step of the four step plan says that two weeks after 70% of the population over 16 year has received the first dose of vaccine, the state will lift its Gatherings and Face Masks Order, unless unanticipated circumstances arise such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants. 

As of Monday, 50% of Michiganders had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, with 38% being fully vaccinated.

"This means we are 20% away or 1.65 million shots in arms from being able to be inside public spaces without masks," Kerry Ebersole Singh, director of the Protect Michigan Commission, said in a written statement. "We won't stop working til we vaccinate at least 70% of our state so we can move beyond this pandemic."

Even though walk-ins are accepted at Ford Field, health officials are also encouraging people to register for an appointment by texting EndCOVID to 75049 or by calling the state health department's COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136. Ford Field will continue to prioritize appointments to help optimize operations. People may also call the COVID-19 Hotline number to ask for on-site disability assistance, accomodations, or free transportation to and from Ford Field.

Free parking is available at the vaccination site at 1902 St. Antoine near Ford Field.

Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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