A former Sears service center in Sterling Heights will be transformed into a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination facility, after the move was approved by city council this week. The city gave the green light to a license agreement to occupy and use the former Sears service center situated at 14100 Lakeside Circle and anticipates that the 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 facility will be available to other COVID-19 providers 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 and 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 pursuing approval by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) as a COVID-19 provider.
“This is an unprecedented public health crisis that demands that the city undertake extraordinary steps to protect our residents,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael 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.”
“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.”