By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)-Michigan has officially moved into the next phase for COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting Monday those over 65, and some frontline essential workers are eligible to receive the vaccine, but when will those in this phase be able to make an appointment.

According to the Oakland and Macomb Counties website there are no available appointments within the counties health department. Wayne County directs seniors wanting a vaccine to their hospital systems, which are being bombarded with appointment requests. Beaumont Health has tripled their online capacity after their system crashed last week, due to an overwhelming demand for vaccine appointments. Chief of Clinical Services Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund says they are now sending email invites to patients in order to keep up with the demand.

READ MORE: Rolling Stone Magazine Named ‘Respect’ #1 Song Of All Time

“200,000 people over the age of 65 that we just started sending selected email messages asking them to schedule a vaccine appointment.”

Beaumont says they will schedule those appointments through next Tuesday based on their current supply to seniors. Those essential workers that are eligible should await word from their employers.

On Monday Michigan Medicine announced they will temporarily pause scheduling of new first-dose appointments due to lack of supplies. They want to ensure a second dose is available to those whom have already received a vaccine.

In the city of Detroit, the appointment call line is now open for those eligible residents to receive a vaccine. Mayor Duggan announced last week the TCF parking structure will serve as a distribution site beginning Wednesday. The city released a statement Monday stating the call center is receiving an overwhelming amount of vaccine appointment calls.

The following statement is from the City of Detroit COO Hakim Berry.

“Since 9am this morning our COVID vaccine scheduling call center staffed by Rock Connections has experienced extremely high volumes, receiving more than 100,000 calls. Those who predicted that Detroiters would not be interested in receiving the vaccine were clearly incorrect.

Rock Connections has already increased its call center staff from 42 to 56 representatives booking the appointments.  Call Center hours have now been increased by two hours a day and will operate 9 AM and 8 PM.

READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You See Another Relief Payment Soon?

Our system is set up so that calls will not be kept on hold if there is more than a half-hour wait to speak to a representative.  If your call is dropped, please call later today or anytime this week.  At any point the wait time is under 30 minutes, your call will go through.

A major cause of call volumes is a large number calls from individuals who are not eligible.  We do not have the capacity to answer questions from people under 75 or non-Detroiters about vaccinations in general.  If you are not eligible to book the vaccine, please do not tie up the call lines.

As a reminder, people should call 313-230-0505 to schedule an appointment only if they meet the following qualifications:

  • A Detroit resident 75 and older
  • Any “good neighbor” 65 and older who drives a 75 year old (or older) Detroit resident to TCF
  • The following Group B essential workers: K-12 teachers and support staff and child care workers

We are booking 20,000 appointments through February 5th.  The call center has the ability to book up to 4,000 appointments per day, so we expect to be booking appointments at least through the end of the day Friday.  We will add to those appointments as fast as the federal government provides vaccines.”

 

As for the lack of County vaccines, Governor Whitmer is asking for patience’s as the state works to receive more vaccines from the federal government.

© 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MORE NEWS: Trump Endorses Election Fraud Lawyer For Michigan AG

 

April Morton