Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site that will begin operation in Warren on April 8, in the parking structure next to City Hall on Van Dyke Avenue, north of 12 Mile Road.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site that will begin operation in Warren on April 8, in the parking structure next to City Hall on Van Dyke Avenue, north of 12 Mile Road.

Photo by Brian Louwers

Macomb County adds COVID-19 vaccination sites in Warren

By: Brian Louwers | Metro | Published March 31, 2021

WARREN — Eligible people who live or work in southern Macomb County now have increased accessibility to COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment in Warren.

On March 29, the Macomb County Health Department opened its fourth vaccination site, at the Majestic Plaza on Van Dyke Avenue at Martin Road. The next day, the department announced plans for a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the parking structure at Warren’s City Hall on Van Dyke, north of 12 Mile Road.

“As I’ve said from day one, our biggest objective was to try to figure out how do we get as much vaccine as possible, because we all know we have the potential,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said on March 30 at a press conference in Warren’s City Hall parking structure, where drive-thru vaccinations were scheduled to begin on April 8. “Our potential is only limited based upon the number of doses we’ve been receiving.”

The drive-thru site in Warren will operate from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Officials said the site has the capacity to distribute 2,000 doses per week and that the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will be given at that location.

“This system will be simple. You make an appointment with the county, a website, you come to the Warren City Hall parking garage at your assigned time,” Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said.

The Warren Police Department will provide security and direct traffic, with the support of the Community Emergency Response Team. Warren Fire Department paramedics will administer the vaccine.

“After being vaccinated, you will be directed to the parking area south of City Hall where you’ll wait for about 15 minutes to make sure you’re OK,” Fouts said. “We’ll have firefighters watching you. If you find yourself in need while you’re parked, simply honk your horn and you’ll be assisted by the Fire Department, and then go home fully vaccinated.”

Andrew Cox, director and health officer of the Macomb County Health Department, said opening a drive-thru site in southern Macomb County is a big step forward in the vaccine rollout.

“This will really help with access to the vaccine, especially with individuals that have mobility issues,” Cox said. He added that the hours of Warren’s drive-thru site will provide increased access for those only able to get the vaccine in the afternoon or on weekends.

“It is a race to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and sites like this are going to help us do that,” Cox said.

The Warren location at Majestic Plaza, 27690 Van Dyke Ave., Suite B, will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with the capacity to administer 5,000 doses per week. It supplements existing county-affiliated sites at the Verkuilen Building in Clinton Township, the Sterling Heights Senior Center, the Richmond-Lenox EMS drive-thru vaccination center and the Chesterfield Township Senior Center. The county also worked with the city of Sterling Heights to launch a drive-thru site at the former Sears auto repair facility at Lakeside Mall.

Two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine have all been approved for emergency use in the United States. Cox said logistics and supply determine which are available at any site affiliated with the Macomb County Health Department.

Only the Pfizer two-dose vaccine has been approved for those 16 and 17 years old.

Deputy Macomb County Executive Vicki Wolber said funding for the vaccination efforts, including reimbursement for municipalities providing support through police and fire department overtime staffing, will be paid initially through Macomb County’s initial allotment of $152 million in federal CARES Act funds.   

Appointments are required for all county-affiliated vaccination sites. No walk-up appointments are available. Cox said available appointments are added randomly each day at individual sites to ensure equal access, subject to vaccine availability.  

Residents meeting current eligibility guidelines can make an appointment though the online scheduler at www.macombgov.org/covidvaccine. The scheduler allows those making appointments to select their vaccination site and is available anytime with new appointments added daily. Changes are made in real time, so eligible residents are encouraged to check the system frequently.

People 60 and older, 50 and older with pre-existing medical conditions and 16 and older with disabilities and/or medical conditions necessitating transportation assistance to get a vaccine are encouraged to register with the SMART Bus Macomb Vaccine Registration Line. Those registered will be contacted by the Macomb County Health Department to schedule an appointment when one is available. To register, visit www.smartbus.org/macombvaccine or call (586) 421-6579.

For more information about county-affiliated vaccination efforts visit www.macombgov.org/vaccinecentral.