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Vaccine eligibility expanded to those 50 and older

Courtesy Image An illustration of the coronavirus provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ALPENA — Beginning Monday, COVID-19 vaccines may be given to people aged 50 and older, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

People in that age bracket living with disabilities or medical conditions or who are caregivers for family members or children with special needs will be prioritized, according to Cathy Goike, spokeswoman for District Health Department No. 4.

Registration for people over 50 will begin Monday.

Public health officials on Wednesday reported six newly infected or probably infected Northeast Michiganders, including one Alpena County resident, one Presque Isle County resident, two Montmorency County residents, and two Alcona County residents.

As of Feb. 18, local public health agencies have reported confirmed and suspected infections as one number.

Based on that data, 2,956 Northeast Michiganders have been confirmed or suspected infected since the pandemic hit Michigan in mid-March. Of those, 104 have died.

State data showed that, as of Tuesday, 21,226 doses of coronavirus vaccine had been administered in Northeast Michigan.

As of Monday, two people were hospitalized at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena with coronavirus infection, neither in intensive care, according to state data. The hospital was 47% full.

As of Wednesday, 30 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection across the state-designated, 18-county health care region that includes Alpena, Presque Isle, and Montmorency counties, according to state data.

The last death was reported Monday.

Local public health officials have stopped tracking recoveries.

COVID-19 vaccine: Frequently asked questions

Who’s currently eligible to receive the vaccine?

Those 65 and older, health care workers, police, firefighters, teachers and child care workers.

How do I get an appointment?

Pre-register online (preferred) at dhd4.org, dhd2.org, or clinic.meijer.com. Residents of Alpena, Presque Isle, or Montmorency counties can call 989-356-4507 and choose option 1.

What if I don’t have the internet?

The Alpena Senior Citizens Center can help. Call 989-356-3585.

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