Important COVID-19 Vaccination Information from President Schlissel and Dr. Runge

To All Members of the U-M Community:

With FDA “emergency use authorization” of the COVID-19 vaccine, Michigan Medicine is ready to begin vaccinating health care workers this week. This is great news and, knowing how challenging the last year has been for all of us, we are optimistic about these first steps on our road back to normalcy after this long journey with COVID-19.

Our COVID-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Taskforce is identifying the first groups to be vaccinated based on guidance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). MDHHS follows Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a CDC advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States. The CDC and ACIP have defined populations for different vaccination phases:

  • Phase 1A includes paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home, as well as residents of long-term care facilities.
  • Phase 1B includes workers in essential and critical industries, including workers with unique skill sets such as non-hospital or non-public health laboratories and mortuary services.
  • Phase 1C includes people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
  • Phase 2 is a mass vaccination campaign for all adults.

In order to appropriately plan for the number of vaccines to be administered, we need our faculty, staff and students to complete a questionnaire to indicate whether you want the vaccine, you are not sure at this time, or that you don’t want the vaccine. In addition, we are asking for health information in the questionnaire to help with prioritization of vaccine distribution.

Schedulers will contact those who want the vaccine to make an appointment as we receive allocations of vaccine. Given the phased approach to vaccine administration, you may not be contacted for several weeks after completing the form depending on your assigned phase and available quantities of vaccine. The vaccine is not mandatory and people who complete the questionnaire indicating they want the vaccine can change their minds about receiving the vaccine when they are contacted to schedule an appointment.

Please be alert for an individualized link to the questionnaire, which will be sent via email this week. As we work through operational processes, we have identified about 200 team members who are volunteering to participate this week in a “test run.” These individuals all fall into the recommended first phase guidelines from federal and state health agencies.

We expect to receive 1,950 doses today, and should continue to get more vaccine supply on a weekly basis. We will eventually have enough supply for all who want the vaccine.

You can find more information here on the Michigan Medicine Headlines page, which is updated frequently.  We want to express our continuing thanks to the task force, whose members from both Michigan Medicine and the campus are working extremely hard to coordinate this effort. We also want to thank you in advance, for maintaining flexibility and patience throughout this very complex process, and for helping us to engage all of our community members.


Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs