So You’re Looking For a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment
As of April 5th, all Michigan residents 16 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine well ahead of the federally mandated schedule of April 19th. With three approved vaccines available and supply ramping up, what used to be a highly regulated waiting list is now nearly wide open.
Since none of the currently approved vaccines are approved for children lower than 16 at this time, that means that means pretty much everyone who can be vaccinated is now also eligible to be vaccinated. It is important to note that only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 16 and older. The other two, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson are approved for 18 years and older. This is especially important for parents of teens to know if they are trying to get their child 16 or older vaccinated. It is important to make sure the site you schedule at is dispensing the Pfizer vaccine which 16 and 17 year olds can receive.
As far as younger children, the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for adults in the US are currently undergoing what are called “age de-escalation trials” aimed at gathering data on the efficacy in gradually younger age groups. Dr. Anthonly Fauchi, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has said that middle and high school age kids will likely be widely able to be vaccinated by the fall, with younger children eligible in early 2022.
So, now that vaccines are widely being rolled out in more and more places, where is the best way to get a shot locally? These are your best options if you don’t want to drive far, along with a few that have a bit more of a drive but more ease of getting an appointment. Note, this list is not exhaustive; for more options visit the State of Michigan COVID-19 site.
Location: Tom’s Food Center Pharmacy
Where do I sign up?: Vaccine Eligibility Form
Where can I call to ask questions?: (517) 647-7373
Location: Rite Aid Pharmacy - Portland
Where do I sign up?: Vaccine Scheduler
Where can I call to ask questions?: (517) 647-4704
Location: Sparrow Ionia Walk-in Clinic
Where do I sign up?: (616) 523-1600 ext. 4
Where can I call to ask questions?: (616) 523-1600 ext. 4
Location: Ionia County Health Department
Where do I sign up?: First Dose Mass Vaccination Clinic on 4/8 (many still open!)
Where can I call to ask questions?: (616) 527-5341
Location: Meijer Pharmacy - Ionia
Where do I sign up?: Meijer Registration Form
Where can I call to ask questions?: 616-527-9200
Location: Sparrow Lab Location at Former Sears in Frandor Plaza in Lansing
Where do I sign up?: Sign up on MySparrow (you will need an account if you don’t already have one)
Where can I call to ask questions?: (877) 205-1300
Location: Ford Field Mass Vaccination Clinic in Detroit
Where do I sign up?: Meijer Registration Form (Meijer is running this site in conjunction with FEMA and the State of Michigan
Where can I call to ask questions?: (888) 535-6136
Location: West Michigan Mass Vaccination Clinic at Devos Place in Grand Rapids
Where do I sign up?: Spectrum Health Vaccination Registration (Spectrum Health is running this site in conjunction with Kent County and Mercy Health)
Where can I call to ask questions?: (833) 755-0696
Residents who don't have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the State of Michigan COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 535-6136 (select option 1) Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM and Saturday-Sunday 8AM-1PM for assistance.
DISCLAIMER: When not writing for the Beacon, I teach high school science at St. Patrick Catholic School, and as an Adjunct Professor at Spring Arbor University. As a science educator I am confident in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines available. As a K-12 educator I qualified for vaccination in early January and did so as soon as I was able to get an appointment. I encourage you to do so too as soon as you are able.
PHOTO: Courtesy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention