SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Michigan officials said adults 65 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, Jan. 11.
For now, people will be required to have an online appointment to get a vaccine. No walk-ins will be taken.
Beaumont Health sent out 900,000 emails to seniors already enrolled in myBeaumontChart Thursday night, alerting them that appointments were available. Many people responded, causing the system to crash.
“We’re glad to be able to move this forward but I really want people to be patient,” said Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This is not like a flu shot. You can’t just walk up to a facility or call and demand a vaccine.”
When the system is fixed, it may not be possible to book an appointment weeks in advance. Each hospital system or health department will be dependent on how many doses the federal government and the state roll out weekly, meaning that it will likely take multiple attempts online to get an appointment.
At Beaumont Health, once you’ve secured the appointment, you will be directed to the hospital’s Southfield service center. You will then see 12 registration desks which will send you to one of 24 vaccinating stations. After receiving the vaccine, you will go to an observation area for 15 minutes and then make a follow-up appointment for a second dose.
“The flow goes really fast but that’s why we’re emphasizing you have to have an appointment. We don’t want people standing in line,” said Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund with Beaumont Health. “We have found this is the safest way to vaccinate the most people at once.”
Phone appointments could be possible in the future.