The mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic officially opens at Ford Field on Wednesday morning with the ability to give about 6,000 shots per day.
It's one of several mass vaccination sites across the country chosen by FEMA and the White House.
Several factors went into the choice. The most obvious – it's huge, and FEMA will need a lot of space to move 5,000 to 6,000 people through during the day.
On top of the Detroit Lions organization being on board, Ford Field was also chosen because of its location. FEMA said it made sense to reach as many people as possible in southeast Michigan.
“Detroit has some of the highest social vulnerability index areas in the state of Michigan…transportation, transit," FEMA Region 5 External Affairs Director Dan Shulman said.
Making sure people can easily get to their appointment was critical, one of the reasons ford Field made sense.
The clinic will be similar to mass vaccination clinics FEMA helped with in Chicago and Cleveland.
Beginning Wednesday, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week for eight weeks.
On Tuesday, there was a soft open where about 2,500 people got their shot.
“We are scheduling in 4-day increments, as one day fills up we send out additional invites," Kerry Ebersole, the director of the Protect Michigan Commission said.
Of those Michiganders fully vaccinated, more than half are white. Another goal of choosing Ford Field is to improve equal access to shots.
This is a joint project with FEMA, the Department of Defense, the Michigan health department, Meijer, and Michigan State Police.
To register, you can go to Meijer.com or you can text END COVID to 75049, or call MDHHS.
According to Meijer's senior director of corporate communications, Frank Guglielmi, there have been about 133,000 people registered so far. About 40,000 have already received an appointment to get their shot.
Once Ford Field officially opens at 8 a.m., people who have their vaccination appointments can enter through Gate A or Gate G to get to one of two clinic areas, located on opposite sides of the stadium.
“We’ve found that doing these clinics in our stores and certainly doing it at Ford Field we have a lot of space to work with. So people have been able to flow in very quickly," Guglielmi said.
Clinic organizers suggest arriving 15-20 minutes early and remind everyone that after their shot, they'll need to hang around for 15 minutes to be monitored.
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