Michigan Manufacturing Plays Powerful
Role in Historic COVID-19 Vaccine

As the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by MMA member Pfizer and BioNTech SE begin to arrive at hospitals around the country from manufacturing sites in Kalamazoo and elsewhere, I’m overcome with a strong sense of pride in Michigan’s manufacturing industry. Michigan manufacturers have prevailed over unimaginable obstacles to support the world with necessary and life-sustaining products throughout the pandemic. And now, the solution that will bring this crisis to an end emerges from the heart of the Great Lakes State.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) has released the state’s strategy for prioritizing vaccine distribution and administration. Michigan’s plan follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for a phased approach as follows:

Phase 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who are exposed to patients or infectious materials and residents of long–term care facilities

  • Priority One: Emergency medical service providers
  • Priority Two, Group A: Skilled nursing facility staff, psychiatric hospital staff, home for aged staff, adult foster care centers staff, assisted living facility staff, home health care workers caring for high–risk clients with large patient loads
  • Priority Two, Group B: Vulnerable residents in long–term care facilities
  • Priority Three: Workers with direct patient contact who conduct high–risk procedures, other workers with direct patient contact (including outpatient), urgent care, ambulatory care and home health care; workers with indirect patient contact with specialized skills (i.e. pharmacy, public health laboratories)

Phase 1B: Workers in essential and critical industries, including those with unique skillsets such as non–hospital or non–public health laboratories and mortuary services

  • Some workers in 16 critical infrastructure sectors defined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will be prioritized in this phase including Chemical; Communications; Dams; Emergency Services; Financial Services; Government Facilities; Information Technology; Transportation Systems; Energy; Food and Agriculture; Healthcare and Public Health; Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste; and Water and Wastewater Systems
  • This includes K–12 school and child care staff with direct contact with children, homeless shelters, correction facilities, congregate childcare institutions, adult and child protective service.

Phase 1C: People at high risk for severe COVID–19 illness due to underlying medical conditions and people 65 years and older

Phase 2: Mass vaccination campaign for all adults

Manufacturers in industries prioritized as critical infrastructure in Phase 1B should consider supporting the state’s effort to coordinate the distribution of the vaccine by staying in close communication with your local public health officials. MMA will be working to connect manufacturers with public health officials as well.

Since the beginning days of the pandemic, I have often repeated my prediction that the manufacturing industry will be the key to conquering the challenges facing our state and nation. I could not be more pleased to say that Michigan manufacturers have brought that prediction to reality.

On behalf of the MMA team, thank you for your membership and for all you do to drive humanity forward.