Another age barrier to getting a Covid vaccine is falling, the governor's office has announced.
Individuals over 50 with pre-existing health risks can start getting vaccinated starting Monday, and those in the same age group, regardless of health status, will be eligible for a shot beginning March 22.
The state is expected to receive its largest vaccine shipment this week — nearly 500,000 doses, including 82,700 doses of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna manufacture two-shot vaccines.
The state health department is making the move because the state will have a historic number of vaccine doses available in the next couple of weeks, Whitmer said at an unrelated Tuesday press conference in Dearborn. About 400,000 vaccine doses will come from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, she said.
“We want to be able to expand (distribution), and we’re in a position to do it,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer said the steadily increasing number of vaccinations will allow restrictions on large outdor gatherings, restaurant capacity and other pandemic-related measures to be eased. The state health department will also increase the allowed capacity in retail establishments from 30 to 50 percent, among other modifications.