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Vaccine Distribution & Scheduling

Scheduling for the COVID-19 vaccination is currently open to:

Anyone age 12 and older

UM Health-West is following state public health guidelines for distribution and Kent County guidelines for distribution and will keep you informed as more groups become eligible.

Booster Shots

The only authorized booster is for the vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Boosters will be available only to patients who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with at least six months passing since receiving the second dose.

These groups should receive a booster:

  • People with compromised immune systems
  • Anyone 65 or older
  • Those in a long-term care facility
  • Anyone 50-64 with underlying medical conditions

These groups may receive a booster:

  • Anyone age 18-49 with underlying medical conditions
  • Anyone age 18-64 whose occupation puts them at risk of exposure. (Healthcare workers, for example)

Additional information and eligibility will be shared as regulators approve booster shots to more groups.

Appointments are required.


To Schedule your COVID-19 Vaccine

MyChart

Click here to schedule in MyChart.

Call Center

You can also call 616.252.6161 to schedule your vaccine appointment or with any questions.

Hours: 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday

Receiving Your Vaccine:

Please arrive 10 minutes early for your schedule appointment.

Scheduling & eCheck-in Instructions

Please check our visitor policy prior to your appointment.

Need a Ride? Register Now

If you are 60+ and think you might need a ride to get your COVID-19 vaccine, you may be eligible for a low-cost or donation based ride.

The Kent County Health Department has teamed up with several local organizations to support rides for seniors/elders to get to and from vaccination clinics.

If you or someone you know may need a ride, don’t wait, register now. Visit one of the below links or call:

Visit one of the below links or call:


Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

What does full approval of the vaccine mean?

Full approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration grants a license to vaccine manufacturers. This means they can market their product in the United States for use in the population for which it is approved.

Until now, COVID-19 vaccines were distributed in the United States under emergency use authorization (EUA). These were issued after clinical trials tracked results for tens of thousands of volunteers for at least two months. EUA is a way to speed delivery of safe and effective medicines during public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full approval, such as that issued for ages 16 and older for the vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech, takes a longer review. The original tens of thousands of clinical trial participants are monitored for at least six months. In addition, regulators review any reports of adverse reactions among the hundreds of millions of doses given in the United States. Vaccine manufacturers also must submit much more detailed documentation.

Read a step-by-step explanation of the vaccine development process.

We were told the vaccines were highly effective. Why do we need a booster?

The authorized vaccines continue to provide very strong protection, particularly against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

However, health officials cite two reasons for the need for a booster: Evidence shows vaccine-induced protection against COVID-19 infection begins to decrease over time, which also occurs with a natural infection. And the vaccine effectiveness is generally not as strong against the Delta variant. Boosting the previous vaccine series should provide more protection against the Delta variant and probably other variants, too.

In fact, many vaccines require multiple doses – the polio vaccine and the diphtheria-tetanus vaccine are just a couple of common examples.

What is a coronavirus variant, and why should I be concerned?

Variants are common with every virus – think of the season flu as an example. Every time a virus reproduces, there is a chance for a genetic copying “error” or mutation.

Mutation and evolution often result in a virus that spreads more easily, which is what appears to have happened with the highly contagious Delta variant. Studies also suggest that this variant, which has become dominant in many parts of the country, including Michigan, causes more severe illness.

This is why it is so important to reduce infections through vaccination and other precautions. Every time the virus is passed on is another opportunity to mutate.

I’m fully vaccinated, do I need to worry about the Delta variant?

The primary concern is for unvaccinated people. However, no vaccine is 100% effective.

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States (the vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech now is fully licensed for ages 16 and older) continue to show strong protection in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. This includes illness caused by the Delta variant.

However, the Delta variant is not only more contagious, but may cause more severe illness than earlier strains.

Studies also show that it is possible for fully vaccinated people to experience rare “breakthrough” infections and spread the virus to others.

For these reasons, the CDC is recommending layered prevention strategies, such as wearing masks in public settings.