Detroit going door-to-door to promote vaccines

The city of Detroit is hoping to push vaccination numbers up by sending teams door-to-door throughout neighborhoods to promote walk-in sites.

Detroit Health Department teams began fanning out Saturday and on Monday started ramping up efforts in six neighborhoods surrounding recreation centers, a community resource center and a church where vaccinations are being provided. 

So far, canvassers have knocked on 4,936 doors through Monday, according to the city.

Each visit to a home is recorded into a database and teams are hanging flyers about the vaccination sites at entrances to residences.

"We are knocking on doors because we want to get the word about our walk-in locations and make it easy for everyone to take advantage of these life-saving vaccines," Detroit Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said in a release.

The Detroit Health Department initially started mass vaccinations in the parking garage of the TCF convention center downtown but has expanded walk-in vaccinations at churches on Saturdays and at neighborhood centers on weekdays.

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More than 304,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Detroit, with an additional 14,800 scheduled. But fewer than 31% of city residents have been vaccinated, compared with more than 50% statewide. Nearby counties also have outpaced Detroit from 48.5% in adjacent Macomb County to 59.5% in Washtenaw County to the west.

The largest age group to get vaccines in Detroit so far are people 50 years and older, with more than 79,000 doses received.

There have been more than 47,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 2,000 deaths in Detroit since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Michigan has recorded 849,420 total cases and is approaching 17,800 deaths.

Like other parts of the state, virus cases in Detroit began spiking again in March before trending down over the past couple of weeks. On April 7, there were 652 confirmed cases in Detroit.