After a delay in registering people for COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Ford Field, the state announced late Monday that the website now is operational and people can start signing up.
After the registration process is complete, people who register will receive an invitation either by voice or text when it is their turn to schedule the appointment, the state said in a release. Vaccine appointments will be scheduled a few days in advance.
Here are the ways people can sign up:
- Online at clinic.meijer.com/register/CL2021
- Text EndCOVID to 75049
- Call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136 and press 1
Residents who do not have access to the Internet or need help navigating through the registration process can use the state health department hotline to register. They can call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The call center is expected to have long wait times, so calling is recommended only for people who cannot register online or by text.
People who were hoping to snatch up one of the first COVID-19 vaccine appointments for Ford Field, had to wait just a little bit longer to register.
Registration was supposed to open Monday for the mass vaccine clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in conjunction with the state, Meijer, Henry Ford Health System, and the Lions as well as the city of Detroit and Wayne County.
But by 2:30 p.m. Monday, the online registration process still wasn’t working.
FEMA and Meijer worked out some kinks in the registration system Monday, said Kerry Ebersole Singh, director of the Protect Michigan Commission.
Karen Bick, 63, of Oak Park was frustrated and confused.
“Everything was saying, ‘OK, you can register now, but then you can’t register,’ ” said Bick, who has an underlying health condition and has been searching for a vaccine appointment without success since she became eligible earlier this month.
The Meijer website said: “Ford Field registration opens Monday,” but clicking on the link sends users to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website.
The state’s COVID-19 vaccine website, michigan.gov/covidvaccine, had a message on it Monday saying: “MDHHS is proud to be a partner in the FEMA/State of Michigan Ford Field COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Registration for this site opens Monday, March 15. Check back for additional details.”
For Bick, it was disappointing.
“I’m on the list in Oakland County, and I just tried to get on the Rite Aid list, but I think my computer is too slow,” she said. “I was excited to hear about Ford Field, but am just really frustrated trying to get on.”
When it opens, Ford Field will be one of nearly 20 high-volume, federally run sites across the nation and will be equipped to put 5,000 shots in arms per day beginning March 24, with an additional 1,000 doses used for a mobile vaccine clinic.
The Ford Field clinic will operate 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. each day, and will have the Pfizer vaccine for the first three weeks of operation. Those who get a Pfizer shot in those initial weeks also will have a guarantee of a second dose in the fourth, fifth and sixth weeks the site is running.
Vaccines will be offered at no cost and insurance is not required, nor will it be requested at the vaccination site. Any Michigan resident currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the state health department prioritization guidance will be able to register for an appointment at Ford Field.
Eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine now in Michigan is:
- Anyone age 50 or older with a disability or an underlying health condition that put them at risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Parents or guardians of special needs children
- Food processing and agricultural workers
- K-12 teachers
- Child care workers
- Law enforcement officers, including jail and corrections officers
- Health care workers
- People who live and work in long-term care facilities
Starting March 22, anyone 50 and older along with anyone 16 or older with an underlying health condition that puts them at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 will be eligible for a shot in Michigan. And starting April 5, anyone 16 and older, no matter their health status, can get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Free parking will be available at Ford Field, and the state is working to provide free ride-share options for people who ask for transportation assistance during the registration process.
Nearly 2 million Michiganders have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, which amounts to about 24% of the state’s 16-and-older population.
Ford Field was chosen because it is well known to people in the region, is accessible for people with disabilities, can accommodate 10,000 people at one time, has convenient access to parking and public transportation as well as existing security and crowd-control infrastructure, the White House COVID-19 Response Team said Friday in announcing the site will become a mass vaccine clinic.
Contact Kristen Shamus: 313-222-5997 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.