Senate bill strips race, wealth as factors for COVID-19 vaccine distribution – By Dave Boucher, Nushrat Rahman (Detroit Free Press) / Feb 24 2021
Senate Republicans tweaked legislation Wednesday so that, if signed into law, the state could no longer weigh factors like race or socioeconomic status when determining how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the state.
The amendment, adopted in the Senate Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, would force the state to stop using a nationally recognized “social vulnerability index” to decide how many vaccines are given to a specific community.
The state does not use the index to determine who is actually eligible to receive a vaccine, but rather to decide which communities the state should send a specific number of doses. Michigan, like every other state, has a much greater demand for vaccines than available supply. The bill faces several legislative steps before it would land on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.