We are advocating for you.
Yesterday, the state of Michigan announced an expansion to the current covid-19 vaccine distribution phase (Phase 1B). Effective Monday, March 8th, all Michigan residents aged 50+ with disabilities and medical conditions and all caregivers of children with special healthcare needs are eligible to begin receiving the vaccine. All Michigan residents aged 50+ will be eligible beginning March 22nd.
We are working to get more information about this expansion, so we appreciate your patience as we try to answer your questions. The information currently available from our local health department is as follows:

I now qualify under the expansion guidelines. How do I register for the vaccine?
The Kent County Health Department urges all eligible residents to visit vaccinatewestmi.com and complete a vaccination registration form with a local provider. Providers are working to update their registration forms with qualifying questions to reflect the expansion. Forms should be updated by Monday.

The state also suggests that eligible residents check additional vaccination sites, such as local pharmacies like Meijer and Rite Aid.

Residents who don't have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) or call 2-1-1.
When can people with Down syndrome get the vaccine if they are not over the age of 50?
Under the current vaccine distribution plan, Michigan residents with Down syndrome will be eligible to receive the vaccine when the state moves into Phase 1C. Residents with Down syndrome fall into Group B: Individuals 16-64 years with COPD, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other conditions that put them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome. Last we heard, the state suggested 1C would begin in May, but with the approval of additional vaccines we are hopeful it will be sooner.
We know a few other questions have been raised including what conditions qualify as "special healthcare needs", whether or not documentation will need to be shown to prove eligibility, and what to do if you previously registered but are now eligible under the expansion. We will share the answers to those questions as soon as we have them. Again, thank you for your patience.

We will continue to advocate on our community's behalf until all residents with Down syndrome are immediately eligible for the vaccine. If you have specific questions about your or your loved one's current eligibility, please visit vaccinatewestmi.com or contact your local health department.

***Yesterday, lawmakers approved the immediate wage increase of $2.25 for Direct Care Workers to ensure uninterrupted services for those with disabilities during the pandemic.

Links to advocate:

Additional Resources:

All resources listed can also be found at dsawm.org/covid19 and will be shared weekly in our both our programming email and newsletter.