New Wait List Process for COVID Vaccine

UPDATED 2/11/2021

gloved hands drawing a syringe from a vial of COVID-19 Vaccine

Total COVID Vaccine Doses Administered at MidMichigan Health

(as of 2/17/2021)

26,669

Per the guidelines issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, patients age 65 and older plus certain groups of essential workers are currently eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Because public interest is high and supply of vaccines is still very limited, appointments tend to fill quickly. We anticipate that it will take several months to vaccinate all currently eligible patients. We appreciate your patience and will continue to add clinics as additional vaccine supply becomes available.

We have implemented a wait list process to fill vaccine appointments as they become available. To be placed on our wait list, please follow the steps outlined below. (If you are already on our wait list, you do not need to take any further action.) As appointments become available, we will contact eligible patients in the order they were placed on the list. If we are unable to reach you in a timely manner, we will move to the next patient on the list, however, you will remain on the list and be eligible for future notifications.

We appreciate your use of the MyMidMichigan portal whenever possible to keep phone lines free for essential patient care. We also ask that you please notify us if you get vaccinated at another location so that we can remove you from our wait list.

Step 1: Verify whether you meet the current vaccination criteria

The following groups are 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 in MDHHS's Vaccination Prioritization Guidance document.

Step 2: Review Medical Considerations

If you have any of these conditions, please read before requesting to be placed on the wait list, as these conditions can impact the timing of your appointment:

  1. Cancer, Rheumatology or Immune Disorders - Consult your specialist before scheduling a COVID vaccine appointment to learn how the vaccine may impact your immune response and/or some medications you may be taking.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mammograms - If you are due for a routine screening mammogram, we recommend scheduling your mammogram before your first dose or 4-6 weeks after your second dose of the COVID vaccine.

More information about the above conditions is also in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Step 3: Request to Be Added to the Wait List

If you meet the above criteria, please choose ONLY ONE of the following methods to be added to the wait list. The wait list is the same regardless of which method you choose. To avoid long hold times, please consider using the MyMidMichigan Portal.

  1. MyMidMichigan Portal - If you have an active MyMidMichigan account, login to your account and send a secure message to your care team to let them know that you meet the vaccination criteria, have reviewed the special medical considerations and would like to be placed on the COVID vaccine wait list. Please be sure to specify your preferred location: Alpena, Gladwin, Midland, Mt. Pleasant or West Branch.
    If you do not have an active MyMichigan account, but would like to sign up for one, please go to my.midmichigan.net and click on New User? Sign Up Now.
  2. Call the COVID Hotline - If do not have a MyMidMichigan Account, you may call our COVID Hotline to be added to the wait list. Call (989) 794-7600 or toll free (800) 445-7356, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and press Option 1. We appreciate your patience as call volumes may be high. You may find that you experience shorter hold times after 4 p.m.

Step 4: We Will Contact You

  • We anticipate that it will take several months to vaccinate all currently eligible patients. Once you have been placed on the wait list, we will contact you over the next several months to offer you an appointment. At that time, we will review the special medical considerations with you in case anything has changed. 
  • To keep lines open for essential patient care, please do not call for updates once you are on the wait list. Staff will NOT have sufficient information to estimate your vaccination date or how many patients are ahead of you. We thank you for your patience as we are working diligently to provide access for as many people as possible in our community.
  • If you get vaccinated at another location, we ask that you please notify us so that we can remove you from our wait list. 
  • In the meantime, you may wish to read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the vaccines and what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID Vaccines

About COVID-19 Vaccines

Which vaccines will be available?

Two vaccines have now received emergency use authorization from the FDA: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a vaccine produced by Moderna. MidMichigan Health is currently administering the Pfizer vaccine.

Several other coronavirus vaccines are expected to be approved in the coming months. All vaccines approved for emergency use will have been reviewed for safety and effectiveness.

How do the vaccines work?

Each vaccine uses a slightly different approach with the same goal: to induce an immune response in the body against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both mRNA vaccines. This type of vaccine is not a live vaccine and does not contain the virus itself. Rather, it gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build immune cells that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

The Pfizer vaccine will require two shots, with the second shot received 21 days after the first.

What ingredients are in the Pfizer vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine contains:

  • Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) – the main, active ingredient that elicits an immune response and the production of antibodies
  • Lipids (including ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol) – an outside coating or shell of fat that protects the mRNA from destruction as it is being stored, administered and delivered to cells
  • Salts that are used to maintain proper levels of acidity (pH) - Potassium chloride; monobasic potassium phosphate; sodium chloride (salt); dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate
  • Sucrose – a sugar that stabilizes the suspension

How are the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines different?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use the same technology but contain slightly different mRNAs and different ingredients used to protect the mRNA, maintain the pH and stabilize the solution. They are essentially equally effective and have similar side effects.

How effective is the vaccine after the first dose?

From what we know today, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are believed to be around 50% effective 1-2 weeks after the first dose.

Getting the COVID Vaccine

Distribution of the vaccine will be in a phased approach.

MidMichigan Health is following the vaccination prioritization guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Michigan. Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way, with an emphasis on keeping essential services functioning and protecting people at increased risk for severe cases. These prioritizations may change as more information on vaccine effectiveness and additional vaccination products become available. The timing of these phases is dependent on guidance from CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), supply of vaccine from the manufacturer, how vaccine is allocated from the federal level to the states, and the capacity to administer the vaccine. The phases may also overlap.

Find your phase

To find out which of these phases you fall into, please refer to the detailed descriptions in Michigan’s Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance document.

  • Phase 1A - Health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities
  • Phase 1B - Specific groups of essential workers in critical infrastructure, plus all people age 75 and older.
  • Phase 1C
    • Group A - All people age 65 and older.
    • Group B - People ages 16 and older at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions.
  • Phase 2 - All individuals 16 years of age or older.

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

MidMichigan Health is committed to ensuring cost is not a barrier for you to receive the COVID 19 vaccine.

While the vaccine is free of charge, there will be a fee for the administration of the vaccine. We will work with your insurance carrier to make sure there is no out of pocket cost to you.

If you do not have insurance, please reach out to Patient Financial Services at (844) 832-1956 for assistance.

What should I wear/bring to my vaccination appointment?

Please bring photo ID and wear a mask and a short-sleeved shirt on the day of your vaccination. The injection will be administered in your upper arm.

Special Health Considerations

Can I get the vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19 or think I may have had COVID-19 in the past?

Yes, according to the CDC, patients should be offered the vaccine even if they have a prior history of COVID-19, with or without symptoms. Data from clinical trials suggest that vaccination is safe and likely efficacious in these people. Patients will need to wait at least 10 days after diagnosis and be symptom free and out of quarantine before receiving the vaccine. Current evidence suggests that people who have had COVID-19 may be protected for up to 90 days after their initial infection, so they may decide to wait until after this period, if desired.

Should cancer patients, rheumatology patients and those with suppressed immune systems get the vaccine?

Immunocompromised individuals may receive COVID-19 vaccination if they have no contraindications to vaccination. However, before signing up for the vaccine, they should consult their specialist to learn more about the safety and effectiveness in immunocompromised populations, as well as the potential for reduced immune response and any impacts the vaccine may have on their current medications. These patients must also continue to carefully follow all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine if I have been treated with monoclonal antibodies (BAM) or convalescent plasma?

Currently, there are no data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in people who received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19 treatment. However, based on the estimated half-life of such therapies and evidence suggesting that reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, as a precautionary measure until additional information becomes available, there should be at least a 90 day waiting period after treatment before being vaccinated In addition, patients who have already received their first dose of the vaccine and who then received passive antibody therapy should delay their second dose until 90 days after the antibody therapy.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered with other vaccines?

Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine, (including vaccines such as Hepatitis B, Shingrix, Tetanus, seasonal flu, etc.) If mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are inadvertently administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women and women trying to conceive?

Because clinical trials didn’t include pregnant patients, there is no conclusive evidence related to vaccine safety and efficacy during pregnancy. However, pregnant patients are at higher risk of severe disease and worse outcomes from COVID-19 than non-pregnant peers and therefore would benefit from protection from the virus. Based on available information, expert organizations including the American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Michigan Medicine’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital strongly recommend that pregnant and nursing patients have access to the vaccine. They also clarify that it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC also recommends that pregnant women take into account their personal risk of contracting COVID-19 based on their occupation or other activities, the risk of COVID-19 to the mother and the pregnancy, efficacy of the vaccine, and known side effects of the vaccine when deciding whether to be vaccinated. We advise patients to discuss the potential benefits and unknown risks specific to their individual situation with their healthcare provider.

Can women receive the vaccine while breastfeeding?

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine does not recommend stopping breastfeeding for people who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

How does the COVID vaccine affect the timing of mammograms?

You may experience sore/enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit and neck after a COVID-19 vaccination. Although this is considered a normal reaction, it can show up on a mammogram. Therefore, if you are due for a routine screening mammogram, we recommend scheduling your mammogram before your first dose or 4-6 weeks after your second dose of the COVID vaccine. If you get offered a vaccine appointment, we recommend that you get the vaccine and then reschedule your mammogram if needed. View mammogram scheduling phone numbers.

Can I donate blood after getting the COVID Vaccine?

There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer.

Eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with a replication defective virus COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca or Janssen/J&J must wait two weeks before giving blood.

Eligible blood donors who do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait four weeks before giving blood.

Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma.

For more information please refer to the Red Cross's Coronavirus and Blood Donation page.

Safety, Side Effects and Other Concerns

How did a vaccine get developed and approved so quickly? Was the process rushed?

Producing a vaccine against COVID-19 has been the top priority of scientists and governments around the world to help bring an end to the pandemic. With the coordinated and enormous investment of resources, development of these vaccines has been accelerated, all while maintaining standards for safety and efficacy.

Rather than eliminating steps from traditional vaccine development timelines, steps are proceeding simultaneously, such as scaling up manufacturing while safety and efficacy data are collected.

Are the vaccines safe?

Before receiving approval for emergency use, pharmaceutical companies must provide evidence that their vaccines are safe. A team of experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ACIP and other agencies reviewed all available data on safety and efficacy before recommending them for use.

Are there any side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Injection site pain
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

More people experienced these side effects after the second dose rather than the first one. For more information, visit the FDA website's Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine page.

If you get the vaccine and become immune, then are exposed to the virus, can you pass the virus on to others from your exposure?

Based on our experience with other vaccines and early data from the COVID-19 vaccines, it is likely that people who are vaccinated will have enough immunity where they will not pass the virus to others if exposed, but this is not 100 percent certain.

I’m not sure about the COVID-19 vaccine. Where can I find information to help me decide?

Maybe you’ve heard a claim about the COVID vaccines on social media or from a friend or relative that is making you wary about getting vaccinated when it’s your turn.

Michigan Medicine has collected some of the most widespread rumors, claims, myths and worries about the COVID-19 vaccines, and checked them out with help from Michigan Medicine experts. Read the questions and answers on their blog post: “Not Sure About the COVID-19 Vaccine? Get the Facts, Then Decide.”

After Vaccination

How long do the vaccines protect against infection?

Health care professionals and researchers are still learning about COVID-19 and new information is discovered nearly every day that is helpful in the fight against this disease. Because COVID-19 is still a relatively new virus, it is difficult to know exactly how the virus affects the body long-term and how long immunity from natural infection lasts.

Therefore, it is also difficult to predict how long a vaccine will provide protection against the virus. As the vaccines are administered and new information is gathered, additional data about how long it will protect against the virus will be made available.

Will the vaccine be given annually or is it only for this year?

This is not known at this time. Scientists are continuing to collect data about long-term immunity to SARS-CoV2.

Will masks still be required if you receive the vaccine?

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, the COVID-19 vaccine and following the CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

There is still more to learn about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.

Related Links