COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for the General Public

When can I get the vaccine?
Per the announcement from Governor Whitmer on January 6, 2021, members in Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C Group A are eligible to receive vaccine starting Monday, January 11th. At this time, the Health Department does not have the immediate vaccine supply to support vaccination for all individuals in these expanded priority groups. As vaccine supply increases, we will expand vaccination opportunities to meet our community’s needs.

Current St. Clair County Prioritization Plan:
  • Continue vaccinating those in Phase 1A
  • Individuals ages 65+ will be able to schedule an appointment via the Health Department website Please note appointments are first come, first served. No walk-ins. As vaccine supply increases, additional clinics will be scheduled. Check the website regularly for updated information.
  • Additionally, the Health Department is working to schedule select frontline essential workers for upcoming vaccination clinics. Eligible employees will receive a link to scheduling their appointment directly from their employer.

Health Department vaccination clinics scheduled for this next week are full. Dependent on vaccine allocation and shipment, vaccine clinic information will be posted on our website next Friday afternoon.

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.Wondering if you fall within Phase 1A? Take the survey here.

Phase 1B: Persons 75 years of age or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.

Group A: Persons 75 years of age or older not covered in Phase 1A. This includes those in a congregate setting that were not reached in Phase 1A.

Group B: Prioritized frontline workers whose work role has frequent or intense exposure, and, due to the nature of the work, are not able to maintain social distance. For example, a first responder may have to physically touch other people in their response, and a child care provider cannot maintain social distance from children when caring for their physical needs. The specific prioritized categories are:

  • Pre-Kindergarten through high school teachers, support staff and child care workers who usually have direct contact with children
  • First responders not covered in Phase 1A (e.g., firefighters, police, conservation officers, inspectors)
  • Corrections workers (e,g,, staff in prisons, jails, juvenile justice facilities)
  • Workers in homeless shelters, congregate child care institutions, and adult and child protective services

Group C: Other frontline essential workers in sectors essential to the functioning of society and at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because their work related duties must be performed on site and involve being in close proximity (i.e., within 6 feet) to the public or to coworkers. Frontline essential workers in critical infrastructures include by ACIP are:

  • Food and agriculture workers
  • Critical manufacturing workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Workers with unique skill sets not covered above, such as non-hospital laboratories and mortuary services

Phase 1C: Individuals age 16 years 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.

Group A: Individuals age 65 to 74 years. This includes those in congregate settings that were not reached in prior Phases.

Group B: Individuals age 16 to 64 years with COPD, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other conditions that puts them at high risk of negative COVID-19 outcome.

Some other essential workers whose work must be performed on site, not covered in prior Phases, will also likely be vaccinated during this phase most likely in the summer. MDHHS will adapt this guidance as vaccine availability becomes clearer.

Phase 2: Is a mass vaccination campaign for all individuals 16 years and older.

Learn more about each phase here.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Safety is a top priority. LOTS of eyes are watching. The U.S. vaccine safety system is strong and robust. The development of the COVID-19 vaccine was accelerated due to the initial $10 billion investment from the U.S. government which took the financial risk off of manufacturers. Clinical trials are following strict protocols. No steps are being skipped, and no short-cuts taken. By the time a drug or vaccine has gone through 3 phases of clinical trials, it has been tested on thousands of people.

Learn more about vaccine safety here.

How many people are in the Phase III Trials?
Thousands of people. Vaccines aren’t able to move to the next phase until they meet those specific numbers that include different age groups as well as people who fall in different races and ethnicities, so that they meet the demographics of what the United States looks like.

Can the vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. The goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work .

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. This means it is possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Will I have a positive COVID-19 test after getting the vaccine?
No. Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Do I still need to wear a mask even after I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection provided by the CVOID-19 vaccines 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. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before changing recommendations on steps people need to take that slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine together with following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

For more information, visit considerations for wearing masks .

Can the COVID-19 vaccine help me even if I’ve already been infected with COVID-19?
Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they had COVID-19 before.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity to COVID-19 may not last very long. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Do all the vaccines require two doses?
Of the five major vaccines currently close to completion, four of them require two doses. First and second doses must be from the same manufacturer. Time between doses may vary. It is important to get both doses!

Are there side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine?
Anywhere from 2-10% of those receiving the vaccines in clinical trials have experienced side effects ranging from high fever, fatigue, joint and muscle aches, and headaches, and redness at the injection site.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a smartphone app called V-safe. The app uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about V-safe here.

What is mRNA?
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

Learn more about mRNA here.

Additional Resources

Helpful Video Links

How do Vaccines Work?
Understanding mRNA
St. Clair County Weekly COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Medical Providers

Staff must be trained to appropriately manage and administer this federally funded vaccine. Ensure designation of a Vaccine Primary and Vaccine Backup Coordinator. These staff are to be experts in storing, handling, managing and documenting COVID-19 vaccine. These staff must be registered Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) users and associated to the COVID-19 provider site performing vaccination (

More detailed information regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine distribution process can be found at: