Vaccine Priority Guidance

Last updated: Feb 1, 2021

The State of Michigan sets the strategy for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization to help guide how vaccines are allocated and administered. The state uses guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). 

See the complete Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Guidance here

Please note that even if you are eligible, vaccine availability will depend on vaccine supply.

  • Supplies are limited everywhere. 
  • There is not enough vaccine to schedule or vaccinate those everyone who is eligible right away. 
  • Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) is partnering with local health systems and employers to get eligible people vaccinated as quickly as supplies allow.

Preliminary COVID-19 Vaccination Timeline

Please note this graphic shows an estimate of when different phases and priorities may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccine Prioritization Guidance

Phases and priorities in Michigan

PHASE 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long-term care facilities. 

Those in Phase 1A is eligible for vaccine and may request an appointment from the WCHD if they aren't being vaccinated through their employer. All 1A priority groups (1, 2, and 3) are eligible.

  • Priority One: Keep critical health care infrastructure open and functioning (i.e., hospitals, critical care units, and emergency medical response systems) through vaccination of staff who perform direct patient care and work in critical areas including: 
    • Group A: Emergency medical service providers, including medical first responders 
    • Group B: General medical floor 
    • Group C: Emergency department 
    • Group D: Intensive care units 
  • Priority Two: Prevent outbreaks and protect residents in long-term care facilities. 
    • Group A: Vaccinate workers who have direct contact with large number of vulnerable residents. Note: this would include staff who come in and out of the buildings. Includes skilled nursing facility staff, psychiatric hospital staff, homes for aged staff, adult foster care centers staff, assisted living facility staff, and home health care workers caring for high risk clients with large patient loads (e.g. people with a tracheostomy/ventilator at home). 
    • Group B: Vaccinate vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities. Includes skilled nursing facility residents, psychiatric hospitals patients, homes for aged residents, adult foster care centers residents, and assisted living facility residents. 
  • Priority Three: Keep necessary health care infrastructure functioning. 
    • Group A: Vaccinate workers with direct patient contact who conduct high risk procedures (e.g., dentists, endoscopy, dialysis). 
    • Group B: Vaccinate other workers who have direct patient contact, including outpatient, urgent care, ambulatory care, and home health care. 
    • Group C: Vaccinate workers with specialized skills critical to health care system functioning who have indirect patient contact (e.g. hospital and public health laboratories, pharmacy, and medical waste handlers).

PHASE 1B: Persons 75 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.

Those in Phase 1B Group A and Phase 1B Group B are eligible and should see information on how to get vaccinated here.  

Due to limited supplies, some in Phase 1B Group B may need to wait to schedule an appointment at this time.

Phase 1B Group C is not eligible yet.

  • Group A: Persons 75 years of age or older not covered in Phase 1A. This includes those in a congregate setting that were not reached in Phase 1A. 
  • Group B: Prioritized frontline workers whose work role has frequent or intense exposure, and, due to the nature of the work, are not able to maintain social distance. For example, a first responder may have to physically touch other people in their response, and a child care provider cannot maintain social distance from children when caring for their physical needs. The specific prioritized categories are:
    • Pre-Kindergarten through high school teachers, support staff and child care workers who usually have direct contact with children
    • First responders not covered in Phase 1A (e.g., firefighters, police, conservation officers, inspectors)
    • Corrections workers (e.g. staff in prisons, jails, juvenile justice facilities)
    • Workers in homeless shelters, congregate child care institutions, and adult and child protective services 
  • Group C: Other frontline essential workers in sectors essential to the functioning of society and at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because their work related duties must be performed on site and involve being in close proximity (i.e., within 6 feet) to the public or to coworkers. 
    • Frontline essential workers in critical infrastructures include by ACIP are:
      • Food and agriculture workers
      • Critical manufacturing workers
      • Public transit workers
      • Grocery store workers
      • U.S. Postal Service workers
      • Workers with unique skill sets not covered above, such as non-hospital laboratories and mortuary services
    • If further sub-prioritization is needed of frontline essential workers due to limited vaccine supply, local health departments may consider prioritizing workers in locations of their jurisdiction where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred and/or workers who are at increased risk for severe illness based on age or underlying medical conditions. 

PHASE 1C: Individuals age 16 years or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety, and protection during the COVID-19 response.

Those in Phase 1C Group A are eligible. Those in Phase 1C Group B are not eligible yet.

  • Group A: Individuals age 65 to 74 years. This includes those in congregate settings that were not reached in prior Phases. 
  • Group B: Individuals age 16 to 64 years with COPD, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other conditions that puts them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome
  • Some other essential workers whose work must be performed on site, not covered in prior Phases, will also likely be vaccinated during this phase most likely in the summer. MDHHS will adapt this guidance as vaccine availability becomes clearer. 

PHASE 2: Individuals 16 years of age or older 

Phase 2 is not eligible yet.

  • All individuals who did not otherwise fit into the earlier groups for whom the vaccine is recommended.