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Meijer partners with state for COVID-19 vaccinations, opens text registration

The Grand Rapids-based retailer has opened a text registration system.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that Meijer has been chosen by the state as an initial pharmacy partner to help with administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Grand Rapids-based retailer will start vaccinating people 65 years and older on a limited basis starting next week in Wayne County. Once more vaccine doses become available, the retailer will open up clinics in more locations. 

Meijer, which has 120 pharmacies statewide, was chosen as a partner under the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program. Whitmer said rolling out the vaccine through pharmacy partners will help the state reach it's goal of vaccinating 70% of the population by the end of the year. 

“We are proud to be chosen by the State of Michigan as a partner to help administer these critical vaccines and we look forward to our expanded role in helping communities throughout the Midwest defeat this pandemic," Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. 

Those who wish to register for the vaccine can text COVID to the number 75049 and they will receive a link to register. Individuals can also go online to https://clinic.meijer.com/ to register. 

The registration form will ask three questions to allow Meijer to determine in which phase you'll become eligible, so the system can notify you with a vaccination date when available. Meijer says you will be able to decline the date offered while staying in registration group for a future date or opt out of the process entirely, if you change your mind or have already gotten the vaccine. 

As of Wednesday, 831,150 vaccines had been distributed statewide, and 332,139 doses had been administered. State officials said during a Wednesday press conference that there has been a lag in the data, and that many doses are already scheduled to be used in upcoming appointments. 

The vaccine rollout, which started in mid-December with healthcare workers, has been slow to start nationwide. State officials have said a lack of consistent vaccine shipments from the federal government have set back providers. 

Michigan's vaccination phases: 

Phase 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long term care facilities.

Phase 1B: Persons 65 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure. 

Phase 1C: Individuals 16 years of age or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.

Phase 2: Individuals 16 years of age or older.

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