How Vaccine Distribution Works

Supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are now increasing. As of April 5, 2021, all residents age 16 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine.  While demand exceeds supply, Oakland County will continue to require appointments and prioritize from the Save Your Spot list based on highest risk including older adults, disability, medical conditions, essential or frontline workers, and communities with residents who may have more difficulty accessing the vaccine.

For more information on current COVID-19 vaccine eligibility click here.

Oakland County is allocated doses by the State of Michigan, and helps to coordinate efforts within the county.  The Health Division has created a vast distribution network.  In addition, to the drive through locations spread throughout the county, the large vaccination sites like UWM Sportsplex in Pontiac, Suburban Showplace in Novi, Southfield Pavilion, and United Food and Commercial Workers in Madison Heights, the County is also holding community clinics in recreation centers and churches.  There is a homebound program, a long-term care center program, and the county distributes to local providers to supplement these efforts.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for multiple lists to increase their opportunity to get an appointment sooner.

Below are public appointment resources.

Vaccine Availability in Oakland County

The statewide effort to vaccinate Michiganders is happening at multiple levels, including hospital systems, local health departments and certain pharmacies who are approved vaccine providers.

The State of Michigan’s local health department vaccine information can be found here.

Vaccine Providers:

Ford Field Vaccination Clinic

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Ford Field in Detroit is now open. The site is set to officially open on March 24. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., seven days a week, for eight weeks under the federal government’s vaccination pilot program.

Sign-up is available through these three options:

  • Online
  • Text EndCOVID to 75049
  • Call the MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6316 (press 1)
    • Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
    • Saturday – Sunday, 8am – 1pm
    • It is expected that the call center will have long wait times, so calling is recommended only for people who cannot register online or by text.

People who have registered will receive an invitation either by voice or text when it’s their turn to schedule the appointment. Vaccine appointments will be scheduled a few days in advance.


How is Oakland County working to achieve vaccine equity?

The Health Division has received additional doses of vaccine from FEMA to operate targeted pop-up vaccination sites. These vaccine sites are in addition to Oakland County’s regular sites operating throughout the county. We are working closely with community partners and organizations to offer these sites to priority populations.  FEMA sponsored sites are in areas identified from CDC’s social vulnerability index and Census population data, as well as within communities with lower vaccination rates to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines. The Health Division will continue to prioritize vaccination of individuals who live and work in Oakland County based on highest risk including older adults, disability/medical conditions, essential/frontline workers and communities who many have more difficulty accessing vaccine.

Will the vaccine be free? Will it be administered through Oakland County? How will you notify when the vaccine is available? Will you let us know which company it will be from?

OCHD will be administering the vaccine, while pharmacies and hospitals may assist. Cost will not be an obstacle to anyone receiving the vaccine.

Information about vaccine availability is updated regularly on this webpage, and anyone can receive updates from OCHD by registering their email address.

What happens to the leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses at the end of each day?

We prepare vaccine onsite so that we can adjust the number of doses in real time, to avoid having leftover vaccine. In the rare instance that we have some doses left, we use it to vaccinate those eligible.

How many people are in a Phase III Trial getting tested?

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 you specify what type of dose you want to get, Pfizer or Moderna? Can you decline, if you want to get another type of vaccine?

At this time, depending on the site that we’re at and the vaccine that we receive, we are not offering an option. The best thing is to get vaccinated with whichever vaccine is offered to you. The idea is for us to get as much vaccine in the community as possible. If you decline a vaccine, and it’s for a health reason or a doctor has somehow told you that you need one or another, we’ll work with you but will likely not be able to make that switch once you arrive at a vaccine clinic.