Leelanau News and Events

The Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Update For Leelanau County

By Emily Tyra | Jan. 13, 2021

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and local health departments recently moved to the next phase of vaccinations which include those age 65 and older, and specific frontline essential workers. The MDHHS announced that a segment of Phase 1B and adults 65 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccination starting Jan.11, dependent on local health department vaccine supply. See Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination implementation schedule here. (This schedule is provisional and will change over time.) 

As of today, Jan. 13, Rachel Pomeroy, public information officer and public health educator at the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department (BLDHD) confirms that Leelanau’s local health department is now actively scheduling vaccination appointments for Phase 1B.

Here is what you need to know:

The BLDHD is now scheduling for individuals over 65*, first responders, childcare staff, school staff, and anyone in Phase 1A. 

Health department staff asks those eligible to fill out an online COVID-19 Vaccine Sign-up Survey.

Pomeroy explains that this sign-up survey does not schedule an appointment, but rather puts your information on a list so that the BLDHD can contact you via email when appointments for your priority group are available. “BLDHD is contacting people through our COVID-19 Vaccine Sign Up Survey,” says Pomeroy. “We have sent out emails for our scheduled clinics and will call those who did not provide emails.”

The BLDHD asks you do not call or email to see where you are on the list. “Please do not call the health department unless absolutely necessary. Due to the volume of calls, we will not be able to talk to everyone,” says Pomeroy. The BLDHD also offers responses to some of the most frequent questions asked by the community, here

All vaccine clinics will be by appointment only, due to vaccine supply and safety concerns. Explains Lisa Peacock, BLDHD health officer: “These clinics require appointments due to the fragile nature of the available vaccines as well as the need to maintain safety through distancing and gathering sizes. It is our goal to vaccinate the community as quickly and safely as possible including second doses administered within the required timeframe.”

Through a partnership with Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan and United Way of Northwest Michigan, a hotline for seniors has been set up to streamline the registration process. If you are 65 or older, call 231-715-5557 to schedule the COVID-19 vaccine through the health department. (Note that those 65 or older who are able to, should fill out the online COVID-19 Vaccine Sign-up SurveyComplete either the form or call the hotline; it is not necessary to do both.) Callers should be prepared to share their name, age, email address if available, phone number, address, county, and if they have access to get to a vaccination site within 30 miles of their home.

“We will be actively pulling from the lists created through our online form as well as the hotline to fill appointments as we have clinics and vaccine available,” Pomeroy says, adding that there are still limitations in resources and vaccine supply and it will likely take several months to get to everyone. “Stay safe and continue to mask up to protect yourself,” she says.

“We want everyone to know that every priority group is important,” adds Peacock. “We are exercising full use of partnerships, volunteers, technology, and any other assistance to help us increase our capacity. It is an exciting and busy time for all of us and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as we prepare to roll out these clinics to larger and larger groups of people.”

*Individuals aged 65-74 are still technically in Phase 1C according to the priority list but MDHHS announced that this group was eligible to begin being vaccinated as of Jan. 11, 2021.

For the latest Leelanau-specific information, visit the BLDHD’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard


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