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Covid 19

Local Family Physicians Push For Vaccine Allotment From State

Physicians And Vx Pic

The state’s allotments for COVID-19 vaccines are increasing but so too is the demand, made even more by the state expanding eligibility Monday.

Now, family care physicians are asking to be able to help.

Right now, Michiganders can only get their COVID-19 vaccine through a hospital, health department or a pharmacy, not their personal doctor.

In the beginning, that was because small practices didn’t have the ability to handle the demands of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“But now with a new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, that does not require deep freeze, I strongly urge the state to consider doling out these vaccine allotments to our colleagues in primary care,” said Dr. Pamela Rockwell with the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians.

Monday, the Academy called on the state to include private family care doctors in distribution.

“Just getting registered is a barrier,” said Dr. Rachel Williams of Williams Family Medical in Big Rapids.

Dr. Williams said family care doctors know their patients, know their needs and how to reach them. She also knows the demand is still there.

“If I put on my Facebook site or my website now that I had 100 vaccines available, and I opened it up,” said Dr. Williams, “I would use it in a day or two. I could definitely use the vaccine.”

“The trust in their family physician is so high, that they will follow the advice,” said Dr. Rockwell, “So that we can help to end this pandemic.”

That’s the other selling point, people can ask their doctor directly what to do. A doctor they know.

“I think you’d actually see a better vaccine uptake,” said Dr. WIlliams, “If it were more widely available.”

Right now the only hurdle is pure numbers. There are a lot of doses coming to Michigan but maybe not enough to spread it around.

“Once we have enough vaccine,” said Dr. Rockwell, “This is a non-issue. The whole issue will be education.”