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Kalamazoo County Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility and Announces Scheduling Plan

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Starting the week of March 8, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will begin implementing the next phase of vaccination eligibility. As vaccine supplies allow, Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department will expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to select frontline essential workers in Phase 1B, all adults age 50 and older, and caregiver family members and guardians age 16 and older of children who have special health care needs.

To accommodate this expansion of eligibility, the health department is implementing a new process to schedule vaccine appointments for those 50 years and older as well as new waitlist for caregivers of individuals with special needs. Currently, eligible frontline workers will continue to be scheduled through their employer based off the Phase 1B Form completed by the employer, www.kalcounty.com/covid19vaccine.

The health department will continue to prioritize those eligible with the limited vaccine supplies received. Access to a vaccine appointment will still take time, and the health department continues to ask for patience as we move through this new eligibility list with our healthcare partners.

Frontline Workers Now Eligible:

  • Food processing and migrant/seasonal farm workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Restaurant & Food Facility Workers
  • Local Government workers
  • Non-hospital laboratories
  • Veterinary clinics

The health department has not moved to vaccinating other frontline workers not listed above within Phase 1B at this time. This is due to the limited vaccine supply received. Please continue to have patience as we move through this list, and wait for additional notice when other frontline workers are added.

Adults age 50 and older now include:

  • Anyone age 50 or older with or without a medical condition

The health department will no longer have a pre-registration waitlist form for this newly eligible age group. Rather, beginning on March 15, every Monday the health department will release available vaccination appointments for the following week. Eligible adults should visit the health department’s website, www.kalcounty.com/covid19vaccine. Vaccine appointments will be posted on the website directly when appointments become available for self-scheduling. This new process will operate on a first come, first serve basis. If no appointments are shown, then no appointments are available for self-scheduling that week. People with limited internet access are encouraged to call the COVID-19 Call Center at 269-373-5200 for assistance in scheduling an appointment. Please reserve the option of calling for those who cannot access the website.

Caregivers of individuals with special needs include:

  • Caregiver family members and guardians age 16 and over of children with special healthcare needs, including physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, healthcare intervention and/or use of specialized services or programs. The condition may be congenital developmental, or acquired through disease, trauma, or environmental cause and may impose limitations in performing daily self-maintenance activities or substantial limitations in a major life activity.

Caregivers of individuals with special needs can now pre-register on the waitlist form www.kalcounty.com/covid19vaccine.

Adults over the age of 65 and living in Kalamazoo County will continue to be prioritized for vaccination, if they have not already received it. The health department will reserve special appointment slots at upcoming clinics so those over the age of 65 may have assurance that they will continue to receive opportunities for vaccination. If you are in the 65 and older and have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine and wish to do so, call the health department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 269-373-5200.

All eligible residents are also encouraged to explore vaccination through other vaccine providers in the area, including Meijer Pharmacy and Rite Aid Pharmacies.

More information about the process for vaccination in Kalamazoo County can be found at www.kalcounty.com/covid19 and www.Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

Important points:

  • Vaccination is not available at the Health Department and is provided by appointment only at vaccination sites. Do NOT show up at the health department or any vaccination site without an appointment.
  • Kalamazoo County Government’s website can be converted to Spanish, Arabic and French. On any county website, in the top right-hand corner under the social media icons, you will see “Translate”. Click on this and select the language you wish to translate the page to. The pre-registration waitlist form will also translate to this language.
  • The most up-to-date information is at kalcounty.com/covid19 and www.facebook.com/KalamazooCountyHCS. We will notify the public via press releases, social media, and website.
  • If you are eligible because of your work (a critical healthcare infrastructure or frontline essential worker), information may also come through your employer. The health department is actively communicating and coordinating efforts with the employers of eligible workers. Those employees should expect scheduling information through their employers.
  • Please reserve phone calls for those who cannot easily access online information. The health department’s COVID-19 Call Center is 269-373-5200.

Download the press release here.

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