Ann Arbor – Michigan Medicine plans to start offering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients 65 or older as it moves into its new priority phase next week.
Starting Monday, the healthcare system will begin sending its patients in this age range under the supervision of a Michigan Medicine primary care provider to schedule appointments via the MyUofMHealth portal or mail. Those who have visited with any Michigan medicine provider in the past two years are also eligible to receive the vaccine.
Vaccine sites in Michigan Medicine are closed to the public and require appointment.
Each week, the available appointments will depend on the supply, but Heath Systems expects all patients in this group to plan to receive the vaccine in the next two to three months to receive it.
One of the leaders of Michigan Medicine, Sandro Cinti, MD, Michigan Medicine at this stage will advance our community to work as soon as possible by partnering with state, local health departments and other health systems in our region. The vaccine delivery effort and the professor of infectious diseases at UM Medical School said in a statement.
“We would not be nearly as successful in completing Phase 1A without a collaborative partnership with all of these groups, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.”
The state of Michigan receives more than 200,000 patients in the 65,000 and older class. Depending on availability, the first dose of the vaccine will be invited to be sent in batches.
So far Michigan Medicine has received 21,700 doses of the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech vaccine and immunized 13,863 Phase 1A frontline individuals, including physicians, medical staff, and healthcare students, under state and federal guidelines.
Over the next few days, thousands of appointments are already scheduled – some for second doses – as Michigan Medicine works to make the most of its current vaccine supply. It estimates that it supplies more than 90 percent each week.
More shipments are expected next week, but the exact number of incoming vaccines is unknown. Michigan Medicine hopes to boost its efforts to operate 3,400 vaccinations daily at several locations, depending on the supply.
Michigan Stadium recently opened as a vaccination site. Michigan Medicine is vaccinating seven days a week, with plans to add space to the entire campus.
“This is a major milestone in our effort to fight the COVID-19 virus,” Cinti said in a statement. “We are happy that we can give this life-giving vaccine to vulnerable patients. Our best strategy for dealing with this epidemic is getting this safe, effective vaccine to as many people as possible. In doing so, we are supporting vaccination efforts for communities across the state. “
Reaching communities of color is a top priority for Michigan Medicine, which has launched a strong community outreach effort, including a free virtual town hall on January 16, titled “COVID-19 and the African American Community.”
“It is important that we engage everyone in open dialogue about the safety and efficacy of this vaccine, but especially for communities of color who have long had concerns and mistrust due to previous vaccination experiences. “Tony Denton, senior vice president chief operating officer for Michigan Health System, who is leading the community’s outreach and education efforts, said in a statement.
“We acknowledge that these concerns exist and seek to remove any barriers and provide factual information to ensure equal and ethical delivery of health care to all populations. We plan to invite and engage communities of color in open discussion to address the fears, trust for individuals and families to review the science of clinical trials and receive the COVID-19 vaccine Let’s build. It is one of the most important public health efforts of our lifetime. We aim to make a real difference to address equal access. “
The infection falls under Phase 1B of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan to vaccinate individuals 65 years or older. On Wednesday, state officials authorized the distribution of vaccines to the priority group starting on Monday.
Michigan Medicine is responsible for vaccinating the entire University of Michigan community at its three campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint.
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