COVID-19 vaccine reminder texts cause confusion  

Texts are only a reminder, not a confirmation, health official says

MECOSTA, LAKE COUNTIES — A text from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service reminding individuals to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine seems to be causing confusion.

According to the District Health Department No. 10, the MDHHS Division of Immunizations Reminders sent the texts to individuals who have received their first dose to remind them to get their second dose by a set date. However, some people are misinterpreting the date to mean they are actually scheduled for their second dose on the date provided in the text when that is not the case.

The confusion stems from how vaccine information is communicated. When someone receives a vaccine, the information is entered into the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) database so health care organizations, medical providers and pharmacies can view up-to-date patient immunization history to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases and over-vaccination.

In an effort to expand communication and assist Michigan residents, MDHHS Division of Immunizations Reminders is utilizing the MCIR database to send text reminders to Michigan residents about getting their second dose by the date in the text message. And because the state is in a pandemic, each individual who receives the COVID-19 vaccine automatically opts in to receive the text message.

What DHD No. 10 wants residents to understand is that the date in the text is only a reminder. When individuals receive their first dose of the COVID-19 through DHD No. 10, they are automatically scheduled for their second dose right then. Each person is given a card with the date and time they are scheduled for their second dose written on it. Individuals should add that date and time to their calendars and plan to arrive for their second dose at their scheduled time.

"We appreciate the efforts of MDHHS to help us remind our residents to get their second dose of the vaccine," said Kevin Hughes, health officer for DHD No. 10. "The text from MDHHS is not a confirmation for your scheduled vaccine. It is only to remind you that you need to receive your second dose by a certain date.

"However, keep in mind that it is OK if your second dose is scheduled for a date that is later than the date provided in the MDHHS. The important message is that you remember to get your second dose of the vaccine to be fully protected."

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