Native well being care suppliers able to vaccine as state expands eligibility | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

Photo courtesy Bernie O’Brien, Associate Medical Director of the Alcona Health Center, receives his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in January.

ALPENA – Healthcare providers in northeast Michigan continued their vaccination clinics as the state expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, including those ages 50 and over and those aged 18 and over with pre-existing medical conditions.

Richard Bates, regional vice president of medical affairs at MidMichigan Health, said it was good to see the eligibility expanding. He said health system officials are seeing an increase in the number of people interested in the vaccination.

Bates said the mass vaccination clinic at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena was filling up for the week but wasn’t full on Monday afternoon.

Melinda Amlotte, community outreach and marketing manager at Alcona Health Center, said the state-qualified health center was prepared for expanded eligibility on Monday. She said the health center is part of a pilot program with the federal government and is getting its vaccine supply from the federal government instead of the state.

“We have the vaccine and we are ready to go” She said. “We are currently vaccinating with the expansion (Monday), we are vaccinating those 18 to 49 with a pre-existing illness or disability, anyone 50 years of age or older, certain key workers are now eligible, and also caretakers, family members of children with special needs. “

Bates, with MidMichigan Health, said that as vaccine availability has increased, the health system is getting more consistent supplies from the state. These shipments included vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson.

“I think that since we’ve at least stabilized so we can plan the number of vaccine doses we’ll get each week, we can better staff our clinics and schedule patients.” he said.

MidMichigan Health delivered nearly 97,000 doses of vaccine as of Sunday, and received 1,900 initial doses and 1,800 secondary doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, according to Bates. It was not immediately clear how many doses of these vaccines were intended for the Alpena hospital.

Nearly 32,300 vaccines were administered in northeast Michigan on Sunday, according to the state Department of Health.

On April 5, the state will again expand its licensing requirements to allow anyone aged 16 and over to register for the vaccine.

Amlotte said the Alcona Health Center is encouraging people 16 and older to sign up for the vaccine early. She said people don’t have to wait until April 5th to sign up for their vaccine.

MidMichigan Health is also planning appointments or waiting lists for those eligible to receive the vaccine on April 5, according to Bates. He said the health system’s vaccine supply determines how many people can be scheduled for a clinic.

Bates said that any vaccine is the vaccine people should schedule an appointment for.

“People are talking about whether or not there will be another chance for an increase.” he said. “Aside from masking, social distancing, and hand washing, the most important thing we can do to hopefully mitigate any surge is vaccination.”

“We want Northern Michigan to have a great summer for economic reasons and for people to enjoy themselves. Everyone involved needs to be in for that.”

Call MidMichigan Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-800-445-7356 to schedule an appointment. Register for the Alcona Health Center hotline at 989-736-9819 or online at

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