MidMichigan Implements Patient Vaccination Wait List, Outlines Procedure
With the COVID-19 vaccine remaining high in demand and in limited supply, MidMichigan Health’s patient vaccination clinics are currently full. To assist patients in scheduling a vaccination once supply becomes available, MidMichigan has implemented a waitlist.
“On January 11, the state opened up eligibility for three different phases of the population all at the time same time. This included patients age 65 and over, as well as certain groups of essential workers. The change admittedly presented some unique challenges,” said Paul Berg, M.D., president, MidMichigan Physicians Group. “At that time, we immediately began reaching out to our eligible patients and began vaccinations. In fact, we have already vaccinated more than 5,000 patients in the first two weeks of our program and will continue to add vaccine clinics as additional supply become available.”
Dr. Berg continued, “While our early clinics did fill up quickly, we have a new improved process for adding eligible patients to the wait list. What’s more, we remain committed to working with our partners at the health departments to ensure all patients who wish to receive the vaccine are accommodated as soon as possible.”
Patients who have already had phone contact with their doctor’s office to be placed on MidMichigan’s wait list do not need to take further action at this time. For those who wish to be added to the wait list, MidMichigan Health outlines the following steps:
Step 1: Verify current vaccination criteria
The following groups are currently eligible as part of Phase 1 A, Phase 1B, Groups A and B plus Phase 1C, Group A:
- Health care workers
- Age 65 or older
- Pre-kindergarten through high school teachers, support staff and child care workers who usually have direct contact with children
- First responders not covered in Phase 1A (e.g., firefighters, police, conservation officers, inspectors)
- Corrections workers (e.g., staff in prisons, jails, juvenile justice facilities)
- Workers in homeless shelters, congregate child care institutions, and adult and child protective services
- These phases are defined at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
Step 2: Review special medical considerations
Review the following medical conditions prior to joining the wait list as these conditions can impact the appointment timing:
- Cancer, Rheumatology or Immune Disorders – Patients should consult their specialist before scheduling a COVID vaccine appointment to learn how the vaccine may impact their immune response and/or some medications they may be taking.
- Received Antibody Treatments for COVID-19 – Based on current recommendations, patients should wait 90 days after receiving monoclonal antibody (BAM) or convalescent plasma treatment before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Other Recent Vaccinations such as Hepatitis B, Shingles, Influenza or Tetanus – Patients should wait 14 days after receiving other vaccinations before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Prior History of COVID-19 – Patients will need to wait at least 10 days after diagnosis and be symptom free and out of quarantine before receiving the vaccine. They may want to wait up to 90 days based on current evidence suggesting they may be protected for up to 90 days.
- More information about the above conditions may also be found under the Frequently Asked Questions section on the MidMichigan Health web page: www.midmichigan.org/conditions-treatments/coronavirus/vaccine/
Step 3: Request to be added to the wait list
For those that meet the criteria outlined in steps one and two, please choose one of the following methods to be added to the wait list. The wait list is the same regardless of the method chosen. To avoid long hold times, please consider using the MyMidMichigan Portal.
- MyMidMichigan Portal – For patients with an active MyMidMichigan account, they are encouraged to login to their account and send a secure message to their care team to let them know that they meet the vaccination criteria, have reviewed the special medical considerations and would like to be placed on the COVID vaccine wait list. Patients are asked to specify their preferred location: Alpena, Gladwin, Midland, Mt. Pleasant or West Branch.
For patients without an active MyMichigan account, registration can be completed at my.midmichigan.net by clicking on New User? Sign Up Now.
- Call the COVID Hotline – For patients without a MyMidMichigan Account, they may call MidMichigan’s COVID Hotline to be added to the wait list. The hotline can be reached at (989) 794-7600 or toll-free (800) 445-7356, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Callers are asked to press Option 1.
Step 4: Patients will be contacted when appointments become available
It is expected that it will take several months to vaccinate all currently eligible patients. Once patients have been placed on the wait list, MidMichigan will contact them for an appointment as supply becomes available. At that time, MidMichigan representatives will review the special medical considerations with patients for any changes.
- To keep lines open for essential patient care, patients are kindly requested not to call for updates on the wait list. Staff will not have sufficient information to estimate vaccination dates or how many are ahead in the wait cue.
- If patients do get vaccinated at another location, they are asked to please notify their care team via their MyMidMichigan account or call the COVID hotline so they can be removed from the MidMichigan wait list.
“We advise that everyone take time to learn more about the vaccine and how it will help us to fight COVID-19,” said Dr. Berg. “The CDC’s website offers several education tools for you to learn more about the vaccine, its benefits and more. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following all CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19. I recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you.”
Those interested in the latest information on the vaccination distribution may visit www.midmichigan.org/covidvaccine. Those interested in a current list of COVID-19 testing site locations may visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest.