FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccines for U-M Faculty, Staff and Students on all Three Campuses

November 23, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Last updated: 8 a.m., Tuesday, March 9

This is a rapidly changing area and the current information provided is to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication.

All U-M faculty, staff and students who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through Michigan Medicine need to take the following actions to be able to schedule an appointment when vaccination is available for their phase:

Patients and employees at Michigan with an MRN but no MyUofMHealth account should fill out this online form:  https://www.myuofmhealth.org/MyChart-PRD/Signup. If you do not remember your MRN, you may enter all zeros to expedite this process.

If you are not currently registered as a patient or as an employee at Michigan Medicine, please call registration at (734) 936-4990 and press option 1 between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will help you establish an MRN and set up your MyUofMHealth account.

More information for PATIENTS can be found here.

These FAQs are divided into categories. Click on each category to jump to that section:

New questions will added to the bottom of each section so be sure to look there for the newest information.

Vaccine Progress to Date

Updated information on the total number of vaccines administered and the number of individuals fully vaccinated can be found in this Tableau Dashboard.

The dashboard requires a Level 2 login and updates at 8 a.m. daily with data updated as of midnight.

General vaccine information

Q: What vaccines are available for COVID-19?

A: As of today, three vaccines for COVID-19 have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

Health care organizations across the country, including Michigan Medicine, have started vaccinating people based on the recommended prioritization guidelines from CDC and MDHHS.

More information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations-process.html.

Q: How long do the vaccines protect against infection?

A: Health care professionals and researchers are still learning about COVID-19 and new information is discovered nearly every day that is helpful in the fight against this disease. Because COVID-19 is still a relatively new virus, it is difficult to know exactly how the virus affects the body long-term and how long immunity from natural infection lasts. Therefore, it is also difficult to predict how long a vaccine will provide protection against the virus. As the vaccines are administered and new information is gathered, additional data about how long it will protect against the virus will be made available. 

Q: Will the vaccine be given annually or is it only for this year?

A: This is not known at this time. Scientists are continuing to collect data about long-term immunity to SARS-CoV2.

Q: If you get the vaccine and become immune, then are exposed to COVID-19, can you pass the virus on to others from your exposure?

A: Based on our experience with other vaccines and early data from the COVID-19 vaccines, it is likely that people who are vaccinated will have enough immunity where they will not pass the virus to others if exposed, but this is not 100 percent certain.

Q: Will masks still be required if you receive the vaccine?

A: Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. 

There is still more to learn about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. 

Q: Are there anticipated side effects of the vaccine? If so, what are they?

A: Common side effects that have been reported with available COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • injection site pain
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • injection site swelling
  • injection site redness
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

Side effects of individual COVID-19 vaccines may vary. You can find more information about what to expect after getting vaccinated on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

Q: What ingredients are in the Pfizer vaccine? 

A: The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine contains:

  •  messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) – the main, active ingredient that elicits an immune response and the production of antibodies
  • Lipids (including ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol) – an outside coating or shell of fat that protects the mRNA from destruction as it is being stored, administered and delivered to cells
  • Potassium chloride; monobasic potassium phosphate; sodium chloride (salt); dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate – salts that are used to maintain proper levels of acidity (pH)
  • Sucrose – a sugar that stabilizes the suspension 

Q: What ingredients are in the Moderna vaccine?

A: The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine contains:

  • messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)- the main, active ingredient that elicits an immune response and the production of antibodies
  • Lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG],cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])- an outside coating or shell of fat that protects the mRNA from destruction as it is being stored, administered and delivered to cells
  • Tromethamine,tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate- used to maintain proper pH
  • Sucrose – a sugar that stabilizes the suspension

Q: What ingredients are in the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine?

A: The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine contains:

  • Recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein: the active ingredient that enters human cells and elicits the immune response without replication.
  • Citric acid monohydrate: an antioxidant that helps maintain stability of the active ingredient
  • Trisodium citrate dihydrate: used to help control pH (acidity)
  • Ethanol: used to keep the other ingredients dissolved and in solution form
  • 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HBCD): used to improve the solubility and stability of the active ingredient
  • Polysorbate-80: this is a common food additive used in several vaccines as an emulsifier (to hold other ingredients together). Compared with its use in foods, there is very little polysorbate-80 in vaccines.
  • Sodium chloride: a salt used to control acidity and tonicity of the solution

Q: How are the vaccine options different?

A: The key difference between the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is that the Janssen vaccine requires only one dose. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine require two doses.

Additionally, the Janssen vaccine uses an inactivated adenovirus (adenovirus 26; similar to the virus that causes the common cold) instead of the mRNA technology used in the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. While Moderna and Pfizer both use the same technology, they contain slightly different mRNAs and different ingredients used to protect the mRNA, maintain the pH and stabilize the solution.

All three vaccines effectively prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19 and have similar potential side effects.

Q: Will adverse reactions of the COVID-19 Vaccine be covered under Workers’ Compensation?

A: No. Workers’ Compensation covers lost wages and medical treatment resulting from an employee’s work-related injury or illness. Employees are receiving the vaccination on a voluntary basis and Workers’ Compensation coverage is not applicable in the event of any complications. However, serious illness resulting in lost work time as a result of any administered vaccine could be covered by FMLA and/or extended sick pay, and the employee would follow our normal HR and Work Connections process.

Q: Will COVID-19 PTO be available for use to cover absences related to side effects of the vaccine? 

A: No, COVID-19 PTO will not be available to cover absences related to any potential side effects of the vaccine.  PTO/Sick time will need to be used if any time off is needed.

Q: Are managers/supervisors giving employees time during their shifts to go get vaccinated, or do they have to go on personal time?

A: Managers and supervisors are encouraged to be flexible and accommodating to employees when it comes to scheduling their vaccine appointments. However, this may vary from unit to unit due to clinical and staffing needs. There may be situations where it would be best for employees to schedule their vaccination before or after their shifts or during their breaks

Q: How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

A: There is no out-of-pocket cost to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The federal government is providing the vaccine itself at no cost to patients.

There is a vaccine administration fee which covers supplies, facilities, staffing and other expenses that will be covered in full by your insurance company, Medicaid, Medicare, or the federal government if you do not have insurance.

Q: Where can my patients/family members/friends find more information on Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans and vaccine clinics?

A: We are continuing to share the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines at uofmhealth.org. Information for patients, family members, and the broader community can be found on the COVID-19 vaccine page of this website.

This site also features a new chat bot to provide real-time answers to common questions on COVID-19 disease, vaccines, options for receiving care during the pandemic (including virtual care), visitor restrictions, parking and testing. Many members of our community are asking when they will have access to be vaccinated. Given that supply of the vaccine remains unknown, we are able to share that as vaccine is received, invitations are going out multiple times each week to our patients age 65 and older.

If your family members or friends are current Michigan Medicine patients, please encourage them to set up a MyUofMHealth patient portal account if they do not already have one. It will also be helpful to turn on notifications in their portal account so they will receive email notifications when messages are sent. Having an active account will speed up the invitation and scheduling process for their vaccine. If they are not a portal user, our scheduling team will reach out by phone or mail when we have appointments available.

Effectiveness and safety

Q: How do the vaccines work?

A: Each vaccine sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Operation Warp Speed uses a slightly different approach with the same goal: to induce an immune response in the body against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines. The Janssen vaccine (from Johnson & Johnson) is a viral vector vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines contain a message from the COVID-19 virus that that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus.

After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies also recognize that the protein should not be there and build immune cells that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are exposed in the future. Both vaccines require two shots, with the second shot received 21 to 28 days after the first, depending on the vaccine.

The Janssen vaccine creates a similar immune system response but uses an inactivated harmless cold virus (adenovirus 26) to deliver instructions to your immune system for fighting the virus that causes COVID-19. It requires only one shot.

Q: How did a vaccine get developed and approved so quickly? Was the process rushed?

A: Producing a vaccine against COVID-19 has been the top priority of scientists and governments around the world to help bring an end to the pandemic. With the coordinated and enormous investment of resources, development of these vaccines has been accelerated, all while maintaining standards for safety and efficacy. Rather than eliminating steps from traditional vaccine development timelines, steps are proceeding simultaneously, such as scaling up manufacturing while safety and efficacy data are being collected. 

Q: Are the vaccines safe?

A: Before receiving approval for emergency use, pharmaceutical companies must provide evidence that their vaccines are safe. A team of experts from the FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed all available data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines before recommending them for use.

Q: Will the vaccine be safe for pregnant and lactating women and women trying to conceive?

A: With the information currently available, we at Michigan Medicine believe the benefit of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is greater than the risks of getting COVID-19 for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive. There is no specific safety information about the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy because pregnancy women were not included in the early studies. However, most scientists, doctors and national organizations support pregnant women receiving the vaccine because the risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy can be severe.

Additionally, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine does not recommend stopping breastfeeding for people who get the COVID-19 vaccine and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises that it is not necessary to delay pregnancy after completing both doses of the vaccine. To help make your decision about receiving the vaccine, be sure to speak with your health care provider.

Q: I have allergies that require me to get a special flu vaccine every year. Is it safe for me to get this vaccine? 

A: According to the CDC, people who have experienced severe reactions to prior vaccines or injectable drugs can still get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19. When you arrive for your vaccination, be sure to tell the medical personnel who are administering your vaccine that you may be at risk for an allergic reaction. 

You should plan to stay in the immediate area for at least 15 minutes (30 minutes for anyone with a history of severe reactions) following your vaccination so the medical team can monitor you. If you have an EpiPen for your allergies, please bring it with you. 

Q: Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered with other vaccines?

A: Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the vaccine series should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration with any other vaccine. If mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are inadvertently administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.

Q: Is the vaccine safe for people with conditions or medications that can weaken the immune system?

A: The early clinical trials did not test the vaccines in these populations but based on the current data, the benefit of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is greater than the risks of getting COVID-19. Talk to your health care provider about the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine in your specific situation. 

Q: Are the current vaccines being administered protective against the new variants identified?

A: The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine appears to be effective against the B.1.1.7 variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, based on early research. A small study conducted by Pfizer Inc. and the University of Texas Medical Branch examined the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and the initial results indicate that the vaccine should be protective against the B.1.1.7 variant. Initial results of the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, are available here.

For recipients of the Moderna vaccine, the company has also announced that it appears to be effective against the new strains emerging from the U.K. and Republic of South Africa. More information can be found in this press release from Moderna.

These variants are still relatively new so further research is ongoing.  

Q: If I have allergies and am worried about an allergic reaction, should I go to a specific vaccine clinic location?

A: Every Michigan Medicine vaccine clinic location is equipped to administer COVID-19 vaccines safely. When scheduling your vaccine appointment in your MyUofMHealth portal account, you will be asked a question about allergic or anaphylactic reactions. Similarly, you will be asked this question again at the time of vaccination. Please answer the question in order to schedule your vaccine appointment.

If you have a history of allergies, you will be observed for a longer period of time after your injection (at least 30 minutes) by medical personnel onsite and should report any symptoms to the charge nurse during your observation period. Medical staff at all locations are equipped with anaphylaxis kits and supplies to quickly treat anyone experiencing an allergic reaction to the vaccine. 

Vaccine eligibility

Q: How is Michigan Medicine prioritizing who receives the vaccine?

A: The Michigan Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Taskforce (CVTT) is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to prioritize who will initially receive the vaccine. More information on the prioritization recommendations can be found on the MDHHS website. Michigan Medicine is also partnering with local health departments when they request assistance administering vaccine doses they receive from the state.

Q: Can you describe how learners (medical, nursing students) are being included in the Phase 1A of vaccine administration?

A: As part of Michigan Medicine’s planning efforts, the Covid-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Task Force has identified points of contact across U-M including leadership in the Medical School, School of Dentistry, School of Kinesiology, School of Nursing, School of Social Work, School of Pharmacy and others to determine which members of our learning community will be part of Phase 1A. 

Currently, Phase 1A includes anyone in the health sciences colleges and schools and other areas of the University who deliver direct or indirect care or support health care infrastructure.

Q: Who is eligible to get the vaccine in Phase 1B?

A: Michigan Medicine is moving forward with completion of Phase 1A health care workers and beginning vaccine rollout to Phase 1B, which includes Michigan Medicine patients and U-M employees age 65 years and older, as well as U-M employees who are essential frontline workers on all three campuses.

Eligible employees who indicated in their Blue Queue questionnaire that they would like to receive the vaccine and are now eligible to receive an invitation through their myUofMhealth.org portal. Patients will receive invitations through the Michigan Medicine portal or by mail if not a portal user.

Q: Will the vaccine be mandatory? Do I need the vaccine if I primarily work remotely?

A: At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory. We will be sharing additional safety & efficacy data to help build awareness and understanding, and support informed individual decision making. 

Currently, Phase 1A has been expanded to include frontline health care workers as well as all persons supporting necessary healthcare infrastructure. This includes all Michigan Medicine employees and anyone in the health sciences colleges and schools and other areas of the University who deliver direct or indirect care or support health care infrastructure, including those who work remotely.

Q: Can I get the vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19 or think I may have had COVID-19 in the past?

A: Scheduling your appointment at a later date is recommended if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days. If it has been longer than 10 days, according to CDC, vaccination should be offered to persons regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Data from phase 2/3 clinical trials suggest vaccination is safe and likely efficacious in these people.

Current evidence suggests that people who have had COVID-19 may be protected for up to 90 days after their initial infection, so they may decide to wait until after this period, if desired.

Q: If staff are not comfortable with getting the vaccine right away, will there be another chance to get vaccinated at a later date?

A: The goal is to vaccinate all members of our community but we understand there may be uncertainty about the vaccines right now. Any vaccine recommended by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will be reviewed for safety and efficacy. After the initial rollout, there will likely be opportunities for others to be vaccinated in the future.

If you are in Phase 1A and would like to get the vaccine, we encourage you to schedule your appointment as soon as you receive an invitation to do so.

Q: I am eligible to receive a vaccine through the university. Can my family members get vaccinated too? 

A: At this time, all available vaccine doses are being prioritized for health care workers based on the recommendations established by the CDC. For this reason, we are currently only able to offer vaccines to our faculty and staff as they fall into the priority groups identified by the CDC. This may change as vaccines become more available and we are able to offer them to larger groups and our greater community.

Q: Are there any restrictions about who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Yes, there are some clinical considerations to keep in mind when scheduling your appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination will not be administered if any of the following are true, and scheduling your appointment at a later date is recommended: 

  • You have received another vaccine in the last 14 days (including vaccines such as Hepatitis B, Shingrix, Tetanus, seasonal flu, etc.)  
  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days 
  • You have received an infusion of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days

Q: Who is currently eligible to be vaccinated at Michigan Medicine?

A: During the week of Jan. 18, Michigan Medicine began vaccinating individuals in Phase 1B, in addition to Phase 1A, in line with the State of Michigan prioritization guidelines

Specifically, we are currently offering vaccination to:

  • All Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and learners who were eligible as part of Phase 1A
  • U-M employees who are age 65 and older
  • UM-employees who serve in specific frontline essential worker roles (e.g., U-M child care workers and first responders unable to stay >6 ft apart in the course of their work)
  • Currently established patients of Michigan Medicine who are 65 years and older. Vaccinations will be offered to patients who are under the care of a Michigan Medicine primary care provider, as well as patients who have had an appointment – either in person or by E-Visit or Video Visit – with any Michigan Medicine provider in the last 24 months.

In order to ensure that we can vaccinate the largest number of people in this group as quickly as possible, we are sending patients invitations to schedule an appointment in waves. We will offer vaccine appointments on a rolling basis as we receive shipments of vaccine to ensure that we use all available doses before the next shipment. This allows us to reach the largest number of patients as quickly as possible.

Q: When are retirees eligible for a vaccine?

A: Retirees are eligible based on where they fit into the State of Michigan’s prioritization guidelines. Currently, phase 1B includes individuals over the age of 65 and other frontline essential workers. We encourage all University of Michigan or Michigan Medicine retirees age 65 and over to check their MyUofMHealth patient portal for more information or if you are not a portal user we will reach you by phone call or mail with information on when and where you may schedule your vaccination. This is a public health crisis and so we are working across the region with other entities to administer the vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. Anyone who is a patient of IHA or Saint Joseph Mercy Health System should also check their patient portal system or website for more information, or may even go to their local health department as vaccines may be available there as well. If you are a retiree who is under the age of 65, as of now, you will be eligible for a vaccine as soon as the state is able to expand vaccinations to the public.

It is important to note that the University of Michigan does not own any of the vaccine. Michigan Medicine receives an allotment of vaccine from the State of Michigan and is administering those doses on behalf of the State and the federal government. Doses are being administered according to the prioritization guidelines set forth by the State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information on these guidelines can be found on the MDHHS website.

Representatives from Michigan Medicine are working closely with the State and local health departments to ensure that vaccine is getting to those most vulnerable as quickly as possible.

Q: Can you explain why Michigan Medicine vaccinated workforce members who may be working remote?

A: Michigan Medicine has been closely following prioritization guidelines from the CDC and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to align on how vaccine is deployed while it remains a scarce resource. In Phase 1A, the State of Michigan prioritized health care systems as critical infrastructure that must continue functioning throughout the pandemic to provide care for COVID-positive and other patients. Early priority tiers within this phase directed vaccine to those most occupationally exposed in roles like the emergency department and intensive care units. As progress was made in vaccinating individuals in this phase, the State notified health systems, via a letter sent in late December, that they were expanding their definition to include all Michigan Medicine workers, even if their role did not involve direct or indirect patient care. This letter directed us to include:

Other job titles that may not be listed above, but who work in a healthcare setting and may indirectly or directly come in contact with patients or infectious material, as indicated in the priority guidance. Any staff who you deem essential to the functioning of your healthcare system who may not be listed above.

The State also directed hospitals to administer over 90% of doses received within seven days, a metric that had to be met statewide in order for Michigan to be eligible to receive more vaccine from the federal government. Another strategy the State deployed to improve vaccine delivery was to transition to Phase 1B, which significantly expanded our eligible population and has since created an imbalance between those seeking their vaccine and available appointments.

Vaccination of our patients is a priority, and we hope to receive increased allocation from the state in order to once again begin first dose vaccinations. We will also continue partnering with the State and local health departments to ensure vaccination to those who wish to receive it as quickly and safely as possible.

Q: Are U-M housing staff eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase 1B?

A: In prior communications regarding Phase 1B eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, Michigan Medicine included “housing staff” as being eligible according to the state’s criteria. In accordance with the State’s prioritization guidelines, only individuals working in the COVID isolation and quarantine housing are considered eligible to be vaccinated currently. Housing personnel serving in other environments are not yet being vaccinated according to the State, and are likely included in Phase 2 or Phase 1C, depending on individual health risks. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.  We are partnering with Housing leadership to identify who meets current eligibility criteria. Those individuals will be contacted directly, depending on vaccine supply. 

Q: Are new Michigan Medicine employees eligible for a vaccine through the health system? How do we schedule an appointment?

A: Yes, all Michigan Medicine faculty, staff, and learners are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine through the health system. When you are onboarding with your new position, please work with your manager who will help you with the process to schedule your vaccination.

You will need to take the following actions to be able to schedule an appointment:

  • Fill out the Blue Queue questionnaire
  • Establish a medical record number (MRN) by calling (734) 936-4990, press option 1, between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Create a MyUofMHealth account if you do not already have one. If you have an MRN but no MyUofMHealth account, complete this online form:  https://www.myuofmhealth.org/MyChart-PRD/Signup. If you do not remember your MRN, you may enter all zeros to expedite this process.

Logistics

Q: If I am eligible to receive the vaccine, how do I schedule an appointment?

A: All Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and students should have received an email with a link to the Blue Queue questionnaire. This form is where you can indicate your interest in receiving the vaccine. When a timeslot is available, individuals will be notified via email and should follow the instructions to select a timeslot.

Once you have received an invitation:

Patients and employees at Michigan with an MRN but no MyUofMHealth account should fill out this online form:  https://www.myuofmhealth.org/MyChart-PRD/Signup. If you do not remember your MRN, you may enter all zeros to expedite this process.

If you are not currently registered as a patient or as an employee at Michigan Medicine, please call registration at (734) 936-4990 and press option 1 between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will help you establish an MRN and set up your MyUofMHealth account.

Q: Will we be able to choose which vaccine we want?

A: No, at this time the vaccines will be given based on availability and the prioritization guidelines from federal and state health agencies.

Q: How long do you anticipate it to be until all who want a vaccination will be able to receive one?

A: We are receiving doses weekly and will administer them as quickly as possible. While an exact timeline is hard to predict, we expect it will take several months to be able to vaccinate everyone we have been asked to vaccinate.

To expedite the process, it is important for everyone to fill out the questionnaire and indicate their interest in receiving the vaccine so they can be notified when a timeslot is available for vaccination.

Q: Are you looking for volunteers to administer vaccines?

A: We appreciate everyone’s interest in supporting the vaccine clinics. At this time, any U-M faculty or staff member and Health Science (Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dental School) students are invited to volunteer. Please complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Volunteer Interest Form to help us capture important information we need to determine how to best deploy you in this effort.

We are receiving an influx of interest, and thank you for your patience with our response. Volunteer roles will be assigned based on capability and need, and we anticipate those needs expanding as vaccine supply improves in the weeks ahead. We will contact you when needs that match your skills are identified.

Thank you in advance for volunteering to be a part of this effort!

Q: I scheduled an appointment but can no longer make it. What do I do?

A: If you have a scheduling ticket to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in your MyUofMHealth Patient Portal account, you are able to cancel or reschedule your appointment if needed, for both first and second dose appointments. To cancel or reschedule, go to the Menu and select Visits. Select your vaccination appointment, then click Cancel appointment. You will then be able to reschedule using the scheduling ticket that appears on your homepage.

We encourage you to keep your current appointment if at all possible given current considerations and limited vaccine supplies. Unfortunately you are not able to view available appointments until you cancel your current appointment.

Q: Why aren’t we getting larger shipments of vaccine so we can administer more doses faster?

A: All available vaccine doses are being allocated to state health departments via the federal government. Individual state health departments are then responsible for allocating the doses to individual health care systems.

Michigan Medicine is working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to receive as much vaccine as possible in our deliveries, but available doses must be distributed equitably to health care systems across the state. As manufacturers continue to ramp up production, more doses of vaccine will become available and we expect to receive larger shipments.

Q: I understand vaccine appointments are being scheduled on the basis of vaccine that is being shipped but has not yet arrived. Will I be notified if my appointment is canceled—and how would I reschedule?

A: Yes, in order to expedite vaccinations and ensuring vaccine is used as quickly as possible, we are scheduling appointments based on anticipated vaccine.  If you have an appointment scheduled, and vaccine is not available, Blue Queue will notify you by email if your appointment has to be canceled. Please check your email before coming to your scheduled appointment. Please do not arrive for your canceled appointment so that we can ensure social distancing and support our vaccination teams. Your invitation will remain active and you can schedule for future appointments as soon as they are made available. You should utilize the same link to schedule in follow-up to a cancelled appointment.

Q: I qualify in Phase 1A, and was emailed an invitation to schedule, but have not yet received my “ticket to schedule” in the patient portal. When & how can I schedule my vaccination appointment?

A: It can sometimes take a few hours for a scheduling ticket to appear on your portal account, after you have received the email notice that you are invited to schedule. Please continue to check your portal account.

We experienced some information transfer issues that are contributing to a longer delay for some individuals to get a portal “ticket to schedule.” We are actively working to address this issue. You are likely experiencing this longer delay if you did not have an MRN (Registration was not on file) at the time you received your emailed invitation to schedule. Even though you may have taken the outlined steps to get an MRN and activate a portal account, the system is delayed in issuing you a “ticket to schedule.” Thank you for your patience as we address this delay.

If you have an invitation and a portal “ticket to schedule,” please schedule your appointment as soon as possible so we can effectively use our vaccine and vaccination appointments.

Q: Why do I need to establish a MyUofMHealth account to receive the vaccine? I do not get my health care from Michigan Medicine.

A: MyUofMHealth.org is an electronic medical record maintained on the MiChart (Epic) platform. This platform enables Michigan Medicine to quickly and efficiently schedule and record each vaccine administered. MiChart data is also used to inform COVID-19 vaccination orders and allocations through the State of Michigan’s immunization registry.

  • The team that administers your vaccination will not access parts of your medical record (at Michigan Medicine or elsewhere) outside the vaccination platform.
  • MiChart will also be used to send you a reminder about your second dose appointment; the rest of your medical record will not be accessed by anyone on the scheduling or vaccination teams at Michigan, unless you choose to follow up for a separate appointment as a patient.

Q: What locations are currently available for getting my COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Currently, Michigan Medicine is administering vaccines in three locations:

  • University Hospital
  • Michigan Stadium
  • Brighton Health Center

You will be able to select a time and date at your preferred location when scheduling your appointment in your MyUofMHealth account.

Q: Is there parking available at Michigan Stadium for vaccines?

A: Yes, there is free parking available at the stadium for people who have an appointment to get a vaccine. Instructions will be included in the confirmation email you receive from your MyUofMHealth account, but below is additional information:

  • Surface parking is available in the lots on the east side of the Stadium
  • These lots can be accessed from Kipke Dr. and Stadium Blvd.
  • When you arrive, there will be signage directing you to available parking spots
  • Handicap parking is also available 

Q: I do not have a medical record number (MRN). Can I set one up online?

A: Yes, U-M campus employees and students can now fill out an online form to establish a medical record number. The form is accessible on the MyUofMHealth homepage near the top of the page. Just click on the Blue Queue Member MRN Creation link and you will be taken to the online form to fill out.

You will need your UMID number. This form can be used by all Michigan Medicine and University of Michigan faculty, staff and students (U of M personnel).

Q: I lost the vaccine card that was given to me at my first does appointment. Can I get another one? Do I need it to get my second dose?

A: If you lost or misplaced the vaccine card provided at your first dose appointment, you can get a new one at your second dose. Just ask your vaccinator for a new copy. Once you have received both doses, your patient record in the MyUofMHealth patient portal will reflect your COVID-19 vaccine information, along with all previous vaccinations.

It is unclear at this time if having a specific “vaccination card” for the COVID-19 vaccine will be required at any point, so we do encourage you to keep your card in a safe place. If you lose the card and need proof of vaccination, you can access your vaccination history in your MyUofMHealth patient portal account.

From the MyUofMHealth Welcome page, click on the Menu (top left) and select Health Summary. All your past immunization with Michigan Medicine will be available under the Immunizations tab. You can print this entire page by selecting FilePrint from the browser menu.

Q: What accommodations are available at vaccine clinics for patients who need special accommodations?

A: Michigan Medicine is committed to ensuring all of our patients are able to be vaccinated safely. We offer the following amenities to meet the needs of all patients:

  • enclosed vaccination area for anyone who needs privacy; this space can also be used if you are wearing clothing that does not enable you to easily expose your arm
  • areas for individuals with sensory-related disabilities and/or limited sensory
  • wheelchairs readily available and signage to indicate wheelchair accessible doors, lines, entrances, restrooms
  • onsite staff who can assist individuals with hearing and/or sight-related needs; white boards and pens for communicating with patients who are hard of hearing; clear masks for staff to wear for people who need to lip read
  • remote interpreters for patients who are Deaf, hard of hearing or for those with Limited English proficiency
  • directional signs and screening tools in large print
  • screening questions and patient information translated in 7 written languages
  • chairs available for anyone unable to stand if there is a line, safely spaced six feet apart
  • accommodations for a support person to accompany a patient of medically necessary, and companion seating in the waiting area

Q: Is Michigan Medicine considering delaying second dose shots to prioritize available vaccine for first dose vaccinations?

A: No, at this time we are not considering a delay in administering second doses, in keeping with the Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance to “allow for second dose administration up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval.”

Michigan Medicine is continuing to receive vaccine shipments weekly and we are able to serve all second dose needs.  Our ability to provide additional first dose appointments will continue to depend on vaccine supply allocated to us each week.

Q: I have had an invite to schedule an appointment for a vaccine for several weeks now but can never find an available appointment. When will I be able to schedule?

A: The State of Michigan recently modified how vaccines are being distributed to local health departments and health systems. These changes impacted the amount of vaccine Michigan Medicine receives each week, reducing the amount we have to administer. With smaller amounts of vaccine available, we are not able to open as many appointments each week. Anyone who has been issued an invitation to make an appointment will be able to do so when appointment slots are available. You can find the most updated information each week on the Michigan Medicine website, including information on when new appointment slots will be opened. We encourage you to check the website weekly for updates. You can also sign up to receive a weekly email with updates, and our call center team is making outbound calls to help schedule when appointments are available for members of our community who are not active portal users.

Q: How does the state determine how many vaccine doses Michigan Medicine receives? 

A: When it comes to supplying health systems and local health departments with vaccines to administer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is currently using a model that allocates 60% to local health departments and 40% to hospitals/health systems.  The state is looking to local health departments to serve in key roles administering and coordinating administration of the vaccine to the state’s citizens. Michigan Medicine is actively coordinating with the Washtenaw County Health Department and other provider organizations in the region to optimize vaccine dose delivery to our community. 

The state has also begun allocating doses using a social vulnerability index (SVI) established by the CDC. More information on the SVI and how it is used in Michigan can be found on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website or in this PowerPoint presentation on the site.  

Second dose scheduling

Q: I received my first dose but do not have an appointment for my second dose. How do I schedule my second dose?

A: We are currently administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which requires a second dose 21 days after you receive your first. After completing your first dose appointment, you will receive a MyUofMHealth portal message and scheduling ticket to self-schedule your second dose. For those who received their first dose before our transition to MiChart/MyUofMHealth portal process, you should have received a Blue Queue email describing the process to follow. An active MyUofMHealth portal account will be required to schedule your second dose.

Q: I need to reschedule my appointment for my second dose of the vaccine. How do I do that?

A: If you need to reschedule the appointment for your second dose for any reason, you must do so through your MyUofMHealth account.

When reviewing the Appointment Details for the second dose appointment within your account, choose Reschedule Appointment if you are logged in through a web browser or Reschedule or cancel if you are logged in through the mobile app. This also applies if you accidentally scheduled an appointment for the wrong date or time. 

Q: I am trying to schedule my second dose but the only available appointments are further out than 21 days. What do I do?

A: The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine currently being administered by Michigan Medicine recommends getting a second dose 21 days after the first dose. Therefore, when you access your MyUofMHealth account to schedule your second dose, you will see available appointments beginning 21 days after your first dose. 

If you cannot schedule on day 21 based on available appointments or for other reasons, second doses can be scheduled after 21 days without issue. 

According to the interim clinical considerations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “persons should not be scheduled to receive the second dose earlier than recommended…There is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. Therefore, if the second dose is administered greater than three weeks after the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose or greater than one month after the first Moderna vaccine dose, there is no need to restart the series.”

More information can be found on the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

Q: I received my first dose at Michigan Stadium but saw appointments for a second dose available at a different location that is closer to my home. Can I schedule my second dose at a different location than my first?

A: Yes, if there are appointments offered for your second dose available at a location that is different from where you received your first dose, you can schedule in your second dose in a different location from where you received your first dose. Both locations must be Michigan Medicine vaccination sites. You cannot receive your second dose through a different health system or outside agency (county or state health department, CVS, Walgreens, etc.) if you received your first dose from Michigan Medicine.

Q: When should I receive the invitation to schedule my second dose?

A: Once your first dose has been completed, a scheduling ticket for your second dose should appear nearly instantaneously in your MyUofMHealth portal. If you are able to check on your smart phone, check your email or the MyUofMHealth app for notice of second dose scheduling. If you do not have an invitation to schedule your second dose, be sure to check with the charge nurse or any representative in the observation area before leaving. Your first dose appointment must be closed in your patient portal account in order for the scheduling ticket for the second dose to appear.

U-M personnel who do not receive a second dose vaccine ticket, please send an email to BlueQueue@med.umich.edu.

Blue Queue information

Tips for completing the Blue Queue questionnaire:

  • The questionnaire should be accessible from any desktop, laptop, or mobile device. 
  • There are public access computers throughout the medical campus and clinic sites that can be used to complete the questionnaire. 
  • If you need to request support to increase device access for your staff to complete the questionnaire, please email MM-Device-Locate@med.umich.edu, and our HITS device support teams will assist you.

Q: What is Blue Queue?

A: Blue Queue is the official tool for all University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and students to indicate whether they would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the University of Michigan.

Q: Where can I access the questionnaire to sign up for a vaccine?

A: All University of Michigan faculty, staff and students are eligible to receive a vaccine as doses become available. In order to receive the vaccine, everyone must fill out the Blue Queue questionnaire, which asks you to identify:

  • whether you want to receive an invitation to schedule the vaccine; you can also indicate you are not sure or do not want the vaccine
  • general health information needed to help with prioritization of vaccine distribution

Click here to access the Blue Queue questionnaire.

Q: I just filled out Blue Queue. When will I receive an email to schedule a vaccine?

A: Using the responses recorded in Blue Queue, eligible faculty and staff receive an invitation to schedule an appointment as doses become available. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process. Rest assured, even if you don’t receive a notification for several weeks, your information has been registered and you are currently in the organization’s queue to receive a vaccine.

Q: Are all Michigan Medicine employees who work in the health system considered “essential” in the Blue Queue questionnaire? What about those working remotely?

A: Currently, Phase 1A has been expanded to include frontline health care workers as well as all persons supporting necessary health care infrastructure. This includes all Michigan Medicine employees and anyone in the health sciences colleges and schools and other areas of the University who deliver direct or indirect care or support health care infrastructure, including those who work remotely.

Q: I have a family member at home who has a health condition that puts them at risk for severe COVID-19 disease, but there was not an option in Blue Queue for me to indicate that I live with someone at high risk. Can I be prioritized to receive my vaccine sooner? 

A: Unfortunately we cannot prioritize faculty and staff who live with a high-risk individual at this time. We are following the prioritization guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) in determining when faculty, staff and students will be eligible to receive a vaccine. At this time, those guidelines do not establish priority for persons who live with someone at high-risk for severe COVID-19 disease. 

Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about the Blue Queue questionnaire? 

A: If you have questions about the Blue Queue questionnaire that are not answered on this page, please email BlueQueue@med.umich.edu

Additional information can also be found on the Michigan Medicine Occupational Health website.    

Q: I am interested in getting the vaccine. Do I have to fill out the Blue Queue questionnaire? 

A: Yes, the Blue Queue questionnaire is required for all University of Michigan faculty, staff and students who want to be vaccinated. This includes Michigan Medicine employees. 

Q: I didn’t get the link to the Blue Queue questionnaire but I think I should have. What do I do?

A: Anyone with a UMICH Level-1 login can access the Blue Queue questionnaire. The questionnaire can be found on this page: https://umichumhs.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8oywy6UbWKIkx4p

Q: I filled out the Blue Queue questionnaire and was not interested in receiving a vaccine, but now have changed my mind. How can I get back into the system?

A: If you have changed your mind about receiving the vaccine, you can log into the Blue Queue questionnaire at any time and change your preference. Click here to access the questionnaire to change your submission.

Please note, you may not see your original submission when you log back in. Answer all of the questions again and re-submit your questionnaire. Any previous answers you submitted will be deleted and only the most recent submission will be used.

Q: I am a University of Michigan employee but I do not have a UMICH Level 1 login. How can I schedule a vaccine?  

A: If you do not have a Level 1 login (for Michigan Medicine employees), please talk with your supervisor or manager. They can reach out to the COVID Vaccine Administration Coordination Office by emailing Blue Queue (BlueQueue@med.umich.edu). Only questions from managers or supervisors will be able to be reviewed in these scenarios so it is important that they reach out on your behalf.

Q: I filled out the Blue Queue questionnaire and am interested in getting a vaccine, but I am retiring soon. Can I still get vaccinated?

A: If you think you will be retiring before you are eligible to schedule an appointment for a vaccine, please complete the questionnaire with the information using your current work situation and other information. We do not yet know how we will be managing situations where individuals change status or roles, like retirement, at this time.

Q: How do new employees get in the queue for a vaccine?

A: If you are a supervisor for a new employee who started recently, please forward the Blue Queue link and have them complete the questionnaire. If you are a new employee who has not completed the Blue Queue questionnaire, please ask your supervisor to forward you the link or click here to access the questions.

Q: I am a Michigan Medicine employee who lives out of state. How can I receive my vaccine?

A: At this time we are unable to accommodate any employees who live out of state. If you are able to commute to Ann Arbor to receive your vaccine, please fill out the Blue Queue questionnaire and we will work with you to schedule an appointment that works with your schedule.

Q: I have my vaccination scheduled. What do I need to bring with me?

A: Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment to reduce wait times and ensure social distancing. You may be asked to provide your uniqname or show your MCard. At this time, no walk-in appointments will be taken.

Q: I received a vaccine through another hospital or health department. Do I have to complete the Blue Queue or report my vaccine to Michigan Medicine?

A: While documentation of your vaccine is not required, please update your status in Blue Queue, so we can remove you from the invitation process. If you have not previously filled out Blue Queue, please fill out the questionnaire and indicate that you have already been vaccinated. This will help ensure we offer invitations as quickly as possible to those who have not yet had the vaccine.

Michigan Medicine employees can receive vaccines from other health agencies (the VA hospital, Washtenaw County Health Department, etc.) if one is offered to you. Please get the vaccine at whatever site is most convenient/timely. You will need to get your second dose from the same organization that you go to for your first dose.

Q: I think I filled out the Blue Queue questionnaire but cannot remember. How can I confirm if my entry was recorded? 

A: The Blue Queue questionnaire is built in Qualtrics and, unfortunately, is not equipped to send a confirmation email once you have completed the questionnaire. If you complete the questionnaire, you will see a confirmation message at the end, informing you that your response has been received. This ensures that your response is recorded and you are officially “in the queue” for a vaccine. 

If you are unsure if you filled out the questionnaire, or if you would like to change your response about wanting the vaccine, please fill it out again. You can access Blue Queue here.

Q: I used to receive daily Blue Queue News emails but no longer get them. Are they still being distributed?

A: As of February 19, Blue Queue News is no longer being distributed. Updates are continuing to be shared via the Michigan Medicine Ops Update emails, and key statistics are available in this Tableau dashboard, accessible to Michigan Medicine faculty and staff with a Level 2 login. For U-M Campus personnel, updated information can be found on the Maize and Blueprint website.

After getting vaccinated

Q: What are the anticipated side effects of the vaccine?

A: Common side effects that have been reported with available COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • injection site pain
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • injection site swelling
  • injection site redness
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

Side effects of individual COVID-19 vaccines may vary. You can find more information about what to expect after getting vaccinated on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

Q: I was vaccinated yesterday and now I have a fever so I have a red “X” on my ResponsiBLUE app. What do I do?

A: If you received your vaccine within the last 48 hours and developed a fever (temperature >100.4F or 38C), you should not come to work. You may continue to work if you have fatigue, headache or muscle aches following vaccination, as long as you feel well enough.

You should contact OHS if any of these symptoms persist for more than 48 hours after vaccination. If you have questions you can email OHS at OHS-covidvaccine@med.umich.edu or call them at (734) 764-8021. You can also visit the Occupational Health Services website for information.

Q: How long do side effects from the vaccine typically last?

A: Side effects are generally mild but may affect your ability to do daily activities. Any side effects should diminish after a day or two.

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. However, if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours OR if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days, you should contact Occupational Health Services at (734) 764-8021 (available 7am-5pm 7 days per week)

Q: I received my vaccine last week and now have a cough. What should I do?

A: A new cough is not a common symptom associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Call OHS (734-764-8021) if you develop any of the following symptoms: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Upper respiratory symptoms (e.g., runny nose, congestion, sore throat)
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

Q: Can I take a photo or post a selfie while getting my vaccine? Can I bring someone with me to take my photo?

A: We know that everyone is looking for ways to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and sharing personal stories about getting vaccinated is a great way to encourage others in the community to get vaccinated as doses become more available. 

You are more than welcome to take photos and share your personal message with friends and others on social media, however, we do ask that you do not bring a friend, family member, or colleague with you to your vaccination appointment. It is important to continue practicing social distancing and limit the number of people in the vaccination area.

Q: If all members of the health care team are vaccinated, do we still need to test our patients for COVID-19 prior to surgery or procedures?

A: Yes, at this time it is important to continue following all precautions for reducing the spread of COVID-19. While the vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, the efficacy is not 100% so we must continue using all of the tools we have to reduce the spread, including pre-procedural testing and utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE).

Additionally, the evidence supports a reduction in symptomatic events; however, asymptomatic events were not studied in the vaccine trials. This means that we do not yet know for certain whether those that have been vaccinated are able to carry and spread virus without experiencing symptoms, and further evidence is needed.

As a reminder, Michigan Medicine guidelines for use of PPE include:

  • All staff should wear a standard medical mask (ear loop or tie back) mask at all times. In addition, everyone should use eye protection for all patient facing activities.
  • Personal glass wearers should use side shields or goggles over their regular glasses. A face shield is also acceptable.
  • Staff performing high risk AGPs in asymptomatic patients with negative COVID tests should wear a fit-tested N-95 respirator and eye protection or PAPR.
  • Special Pathogens Precautions are required for patients with known COVID-19 infection or for those with symptoms awaiting COVID-19 test results. Staff should wear a fit-tested N-95 respirator and eye protection or PAPR, a gown and gloves.

Information for U-M students

Q: If I have received my vaccination, am I still at risk for COVID-19 infection?

A: Yes. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick.

While experts learn more about the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine provides, it is important for everyone in our U-M community to continue to wear a mask, maintain a safe social distance, and follow public health guidelines.

Q: If I am vaccinated but believe I have been exposed to COVID-19, should I quarantine?

A: Yes. If you have no symptoms, contact OHS to arrange for testing around day eight following the exposure as testing sooner may result in a falsely negative result. If you do have symptoms, contact OHS immediately to arrange for testing.

Q: Do I still need to participate in mandatory testing or the surveillance testing program if I have already received my COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is still required if you are mandated to participate in testing. We don’t have enough data about the effectiveness of the vaccine to say whether it provides full protection against contracting COVID-19. The U-M community is encouraged to sign up for testing through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program.

Q: Can I still contract COVID-19 and be contagious if I have been vaccinated?

A: While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be around 95 percent effective at protecting against COVID-19, it is still unknown if they prevent asymptomatic illness or transmission. Until more data is available from real-world conditions, everyone is advised to continue to wear a mask, maintain a safe social distance, use the ResponsiBLUE daily symptom tracker, report exposure, and follow public health guidelines.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

Q: Do I still need to wear a mask and social distance if I have been vaccinated?

A: Yes. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others.”

Q: Is the vaccination being provided for free to all U-M faculty, staff, and students?

A: There is no out-of-pocket cost for U-M faculty, staff, students, and patients receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Any administration fee for supplies, facilities, staffing or other expenses will be covered in full by insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or the federal government if you do not have an insurance provider. If you receive a bill in error, please contact Patient Financial Experience at 855.855.0863 or 734.615.0863.

Q: Can I receive my MRN number online or do I have to call the phone line?

A: A new form is now available to assist students, staff, and faculty with establishing a Michigan Medicine Medical Record Number (MRN) online. Please visit MyUofMHealth.org, complete the portal registration process, and then submit the MRN form available near the top of the page. You will need your UMID.

Q: Do I still need to quarantine after an exposure?

A: People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html)

Q: Do I need to participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing?

A: If your previous positive result was 90 days ago or less, the answer is no. However, if it has been > 90 days since your positive result, you will need to participate in testing. In some rare cases, people can have a persistently positive test result after 90 days, but no active infection; this may require consultation with a health care provider.

Q: Can I be re-infected with COVID-19 and be contagious?

A: Per the CDC: “Cases of reinfection of COVID-19 have been reported but are rare. In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected.”

The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after the initial infection.

Q: Should I get vaccinated? Don’t I have “natural immunity”?

A: Per the CDC: “COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. You should not be required to have an antibody test before you are vaccinated. However, anyone currently infected with COVID-19 should wait to get vaccinated until after their illness has resolved and after they have met the criteria to discontinue isolation. Additionally, current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after the initial infection. Therefore, people with a recent infection may delay vaccination until the end of that 90-day period if desired.”

We will continue to answer questions as we learn more and get further into vaccine planning.

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