The Sterling Heights City Council has approved a license agreement to occupy and use the former Sears service center situated at 14100 Lakeside Circle as a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination facility.
The City anticipates that this facility will play a pivotal role in meeting the anticipated demand for an estimated 80,000 residents 17 years and older who will seek vaccination in Phase II of the state of Michigan’s vaccination plan.
Once fully operational, the City will initially make the facility available to other COVID-19 providers that are currently administering vaccinations to the Phase I b target population of those 65 years and older. As more doses of vaccine are made available and the state transitions to Phase II, the facility will serve as a mass vaccination site staffed by firefighter/paramedic personnel from the Sterling Heights Fire Department, along with other City administrative personnel, with a capacity to administer as many as 2,000 doses of the vaccine per week.
The Fire Department is enrolled in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), the statewide immunization registry. Being MCIR-certified is a prerequisite for the Fire Department to directly order doses of COVID-19 vaccine and administer shots at this new facility. To secure doses of the approved vaccines, the City is actively pursuing approval by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) as a COVID-19 Provider. Pursuant to a correspondence submitted to MDHSS Director Elizabeth Hertel, Mayor Michael C. Taylor and Interim Fire Chief Ed Miller are seeking expedited approval of the City’s request for COVID-19 Provider status.
“This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands that the City undertake extraordinary steps to protect our residents,” said Mayor Taylor. “Providing our residents with a vaccination site has been a priority of the City and I’m incredibly appreciative of the support Sears has provided the City during this crisis. I also want to recognize the members of the City’s Vaccine Task Force who have been hard at work identifying solutions like this over the past couple months. I’m pleased the City Council and our entire City team has continued to be proactive throughout this pandemic.”
“The former Sears service center offers significant advantages,” said Interim Fire Chief Ed Miller. “As a drive-thru vaccination facility, it allows us to safely assemble large numbers of people seeking the vaccine. In addition, the location is ideal as it is accessible from three major roads and there is ample parking for staging the three critical phases of the vaccination process – registration, vaccination, and observation.”
The license term runs through July 1, 2021, with options to extend through the end of 2021. The license fee is $5,500 per month. The license fee may be eligible for reimbursement through Federal Emergency Management Agency funding available to the City.