What Detroiters need to know about COVID boosters, third doses shots

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Booster versus third dose: The City of Detroit is offering COVID-19 booster shots and the third dose of the vaccine for eligible Detroiters. The difference can be a bit confusing, so the City provided an infographic breaking down the different qualifications for each. (Shutterstock photo)

Many Detroiters have an important choice when it comes to efforts to update COVID-19 vaccinations, and the City’s chief medical officer is determined to help sort things out for residents.

There are two categories for available shots: There’s the third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which is for Detroiters with compromised immune systems. And then there’s the Pfizer booster shot, which is for people 65 years and older and people 18 years or older that had their second vaccine dose at least six months ago. 

Denise Fair Razo, the chief public health officer for the City of Detroit, said she understands that the distinction between the two can be “incredibly confusing” to understand. 

“That’s why we are fighting to make sure that we have the same message across the board. And we are repeating it in our press conferences, of course in our social media posting (in language) everybody understands who’s eligible and who’s not,” Fair Razo said. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, occupations at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission include frontline essential workers and health care workers, such as first responders like firefighters and police officers, health care and long-term care workers, teachers and daycare workers, and more. For a full list, visit the CDC’s website

Eligible Detroiters can get the third dose of the vaccine at all City vaccination sites:

  • TCF Center: Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

            1 Washington Blvd. 

  • Northwest Activities Center: Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

           18100 Meyers

  • Clark Park: Mondays-Fridays, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.

           1130 Clark Ave.

  • Clemente Recreation Center: Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

           2631 Bagley

  • Farwell Recreation Center: Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

           2711 E. Outer Drive

  • Samaritan Center: Mondays-Fridays, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.

           5555 Conner

Community Saturdays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • New Providence

           18211 Plymouth Road

  • Greater Emmanuel COGIC

           19190 Schaefer Hwy.

  • Galilee Baptist Church

           5251 Outer Drive

Sundays: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Triumph Church East Campus

           2760 E. Grand Blvd.

To make an appointment at any of these vaccination sites, call 313-230-0505 or schedule an appointment online. The City is allowing walk-ins, as well, but bringing a vaccination card is highly encouraged.

The vaccine has been available in Michigan since December, but vaccine hesitancy is prevalent in the city. Detroit’s vaccination rate is currently about 44.7 percent, while the rate in the rest of Wayne County is nearly 70 percent. Fair Razo said the city is nowhere near its goal of having 70 percent of residents vaccinated, but is still encouraging everyone to talk to their doctor about the vaccine.

“I’m here to tell you to get the vaccine,” she said. “It’s going to protect you, it’s going to keep you safe, and it’s also going to keep your family safe.” 

Many Detroit-area doctors have come out in support of the available vaccines, and City leaders continue to  encourage residents to get it. 

Fair Razo said it’s important for as many people as possible to get vaccinated because it’s the best way to fight against another COVID-19 shutdown. According to the CDC, the vaccines are about 90 percent effective at reducing the risks of the virus, including severe illness and death. Fair Razo said people should “do their own research” before making any decisions regarding their health.

This post has been updated to correct Denise Fair Razo’s preferred professional name.

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