What to know about registering for Ford Field COVID-19 vaccination

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Online registration opened late Monday afternoon for the Ford Field vaccination clinic before the site is set to launch next week.

The football arena, home to the Detroit Lions, will open the clinic on March 24and operate seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for eight weeks.

The site, supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will administer 6,000 doses per day when it opens with the intent of ramping up capacity, Andy Slavitt, senior White House adviser for COVID response, said at a Friday briefing.

Theresa Healy, with husband John Healy, of Chesterfield Township complete check-in with Meijer pharmacist Andrew Hanna. Meijer hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Ford Field exclusively for educators and education staff in Detroit, Michigan on March 1, 2021.

Any Michigan resident who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services vaccine prioritization guidance can fill out a registration form for an appointment online at clinic.meijer.com/register/CL2021.

Eligible residents can also text "EndCOVID" to 75049 or call the health department hotline at (888) 535-6136 and press 1. For those unable to text or access the internet, the call center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After completing the forms, people who have registered will receive an invitation either by voice or text when it’s their turn to schedule the appointment. Vaccine appointments will be scheduled a few days in advance, officials said.

Currently, residents 50 years and older with medical conditions, along with their caregivers and guardians of children with special needs are eligible. 

Eligible residents who have already signed up for Meijer can also sign up for Ford Field without losing their spot on the Meijer waiting list. The patient should also cancel after receiving an appointment with a Meijer pharmacy or Ford Field.

Starting March 22, vaccine eligibility will extend to residents ages 16 and older with disabilities or medical conditions and by April 5, the state is expecting to expand eligibility to include all Michigan residents age 16 and up.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is grateful for the leadership of President Joseph Biden and the partnership established between the Lions, Meijer, Wayne County, the city of Detroit and FEMA.

“The Ford Field community vaccination site is a testament to what we can do when we work together,” Whitmer said in a Monday statement. “We will keep ramping up our equitable vaccine roll-out, and with the addition of the Ford Field community site, we are taking a significant step towards returning to normal as we continue rebuilding our economy.”

Ford Field most recently served as a vaccine site run by Meijer, vaccinating Michigan teachers and educational staff at a two-day clinic.

The Meijer clinic previously used the stadium's concord for registration, to house 20 sheeted rooms where pharmacists administered the shots and as a waiting area for people to sit for 15 minutes after receiving the shot.

Curtained off stations along the concourse of Ford Field for COVID-19 vaccinations for educators and education staff hosted by Meijer.
Meijer hosts a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Ford Field exclusively for educators and education staff in Detroit on March 1, 2021.

Detroit is the state's hardest-hit city by the coronavirus, with 31,000 confirmed cases and 1,858 deaths linked to the virus. It also lies in the state's largest county, Wayne County.

Michigan ranks 29th in the nation for vaccine distribution having administered 2.9 million of 3.4 million doses it's been given. 

Henry Ford Health System is overseeing the site operations and officials are planning to administer the Pfizer vaccine for the first three weeks. Those vaccinated within that timeframe will be guaranteed a second dose during the fourth, fifth and sixth weeks of operation.

The brand of vaccine to be supplied during the final two weeks of the mass vaccination site has not yet been determined, hospital officials said in a press release.

Dr. Steven Rockoff, Henry Ford's chief of emergency management, will also serve as the director of the mass vaccination site. 

“Henry Ford Health System is thrilled to serve as the health system partner for this mass vaccination effort, joining our local, state and federal partners to expand vaccination opportunities, especially in our underserved communities,” Rockoff said. 

Bernice Rutherford of Utica Schools gets her COVID-19 vaccine from Meijer pharmacist Maya Abdullah. Meijer hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Ford Field exclusively for educators and education staff in Detroit on March 1, 2021.

The site will have free parking and the shots are administered at no cost to those receiving the vaccine.

The site will serve residents in the broader southeast Michigan area and is expected to administer 5,000 shots each day on-site and an additional 1,000 per day through a mobile option.

FEMA has obligated over $27.5 million and deployed over 25 federal personnel to Michigan to support vaccination operations statewide, the White House said.

srahal@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @SarahRahal_