UPDATED: New Options for Getting a Vaccine Announced

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Photo courtesy of Ingham County Health Department.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail receiving her first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020.

Ingham County Health Department announced today that some county residents can now receive a two-dose Moderna vaccine through Ingham Community Health Centers.

The community health centers are run by the Health Department and are classified as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which aim to address disparities by providing healthcare to underserved communities. However, you do not need to be a patient of the centers to obtain a vaccine appointment at one of the three of the locations if you are currently eligible to get a vaccine.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that, “the state is expanding vaccination eligibility for Michiganders ages 16 and older with disabilities or medical conditions that put them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome beginning Monday, March 22. The state is also announcing that beginning Monday, April 5, all Michiganders age 16 and up who were not previously eligible will be eligible to receive a vaccine.”

The vaccinations involve no out-of-pocket costs, but those coming for vaccination should be prepared to show photo ID and an insurance card for those with insurance.

People interested in receiving a vaccine at one of these community health centers must call a location and make an appointment, which will be either drive-thru or walk-in depending on location and preference:

  • Forest Community Health Center at (517) 887-4302: vaccines will be available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m,- 4:20 p.m.
  • Birch Community Health Center at (517) 244-8030: vaccines will be available Mondays, 8-11:30 a.m.
  • New Hope Community Health Center at (517) 887-4400: vaccines will be available Fridays, 1-4:30 p.m.

While Sparrow Hospital’s online system continues to say on the front page that “Sparrow is currently limited to vaccinating only essential healthcare workers and anyone 65 or older,” at least one ELi reader who is under age 65 with an underlying health condition reports that she was able to obtain a vaccination by logging in, clicking through the vaccine-appointment system, and grabbing an appointment.

To be clear, that reader is eligible according to the current public health rules. As ELi reported earlier, the state’s health department started allowing entities to begin vaccinating individuals 50 and older with underlying health conditions and caregivers to children with special needs on Mar. 8, and will allow vaccinations for all individuals 50 starting on Mar. 22.

Some pharmacies are also providing vaccinations now.

To register through Meijer, fill out this form. You can also text 75049 or call the Meijer Pharmacy. The number for the Lake Lansing Road location of Meijer in East Lansing is 517-332-2444. When Meijer has an appointment available, you will receive a notification over text message. You can accept, defer, or turn down the opportunity.

To register via Rite Aid, complete the eligibility checker here. Those not eligible currently cannot register. Those eligible can search for appointments. Rite Aid is not making appointments over the phone.

Alice Dreger contributed reporting on Sparrow.

This article was updated at 4:15 p.m. on Mar. 12, 2021 to reflect changes to who is eligible to receive a vaccine in Michigan.

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