National Guard supports vaccination efforts for Michigan

Dec. 15, 2020 | By Webmaster

Michigan National Guard

Story by Penny Carroll

LANSING, Mich.-- The Michigan National Guard received a request from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to support community healthcare organizations with logistical and medical assets for COVID-19 vaccinations across the state. Guard leadership has analyzed its medical assets and logistical requirements and plans to augment health care providers across the state, where requested, in the administration of the vaccine.

The Guard will first staff approximately 50 COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Teams, or CVTTs, that are comprised of a uniformed medical technician and one or two administrative support personnel. The CVTTs will report to four hospital locations deemed priority by the state of Michigan as early as Tuesday, December 15.

“We will provide medics and administrative support to hospitals and local health care organizations and work to fill their needs,” said Col. Ravindra Wagh, Michigan National Guard Joint Operations Officer. “For some locations that will mean directly administering the vaccine to their staff. We will also provide administrative support when needed, freeing up critical front-line hospital employees and allowing them to focus on the ongoing battle against COVID-19.”

The first priority of allocated vaccines in Michigan will be to front-line health care workers and to residents and staff of long term health facilities. After that, MDHHS says they will expand vaccinations to people who work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, essential workers, and those people who are at high-risk for severe COVID-19 illnesses.

The Guard is ready to surge their CVTT capacity when needed and in any location throughout Michigan’s 83 counties. The COVID-19 vaccination mission will be an ongoing endeavor as the Michigan National Guard works to stay in front of the demands of the healthcare system throughout the state.

“The Michigan National Guard remains focused on supporting our communities, our neighbors, in this important task,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “They are professionals who have proven they have the tenacity and right skillset to support the State of Michigan’s ongoing response to COVID-19.”

The National Guard has been integrated into the state’s emergency response to the pandemic since Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced its activation on March 18. Across the state of Michigan, the National Guard also continues to support COVID-19 testing and assisting at local food banks. There are currently several hundred Michigan National Guard members supporting these missions. COVID-19 vaccination support by the guard is expected to continue into Spring 2021.

Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine. As additional information and resources become available, it will be posted to this site.