How and Where to Get COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters in Michigan

Posted on 07/20/22 by Catherine Maddux

  • Pfizer & Moderna: Authorized for people age 6 months and older. Both Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology, which prompts the body to make its own version of COVID-19’s spike protein, a key part of the virus.
  • Novavax:  Authorized for adults age 18 and older. Novavax uses a more traditional vaccine technology, directly delivering a lab-made version of the COVID spike protein upon injection. 
  • Johnson & Johnson (J&J): Authorized for people 18 and older who only have access to the J&J vaccine, or who cannot receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for medical reasons. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its J&J guidance due to a rare but serious blood clotting disorder associated with the one-shot vaccine.
Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vials in a row macro close up

  • People ages 5 to 17: Pfizer recipients ages 5 to 17 should get a booster at least five months after completing their initial two-shot series, according to the CDC. 
  • People age 18 and older: Moderna and Pfizer recipients should get their booster five months after their second shot, and Johnson & Johnson recipients should get a booster at least two months after the first shot. 
  • Second boosters: Those age 50 and older should get a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna at least four months after their initial booster, the CDC says. Adolescents age 12 and older who are immunocompromised or have had certain organ transplants should also get a second Pfizer booster. People age 18 and older with the same health conditions can get a second Moderna booster. And people who are immunocompromised and have already gotten four shots — three in the primary series and one booster — are eligible for a fifth.  

Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna, distinct from boosters, are recommended for specific immunocompromised people age 12 and older. These recipients may also get a booster — a fourth dose — at least six months after the third shot, according to CDC guidance. The agency recommends that children ages 5 to 11 who are immunocompromised get a third Pfizer dose 28 days after their second shot. 

Novavax booster shots are being studied in clinical trials and are expected to be approved by the FDA in the coming weeks.

It’s safe and effective to choose which vaccine you receive as a booster, either Pfizer or Moderna, regardless of which initial vaccines your received. 

Novavax booster shots are expected to be approved by the FDA in the coming weeks. Health officials have discouraged people from receiving an initial J&J vaccine or booster due to a rare but serious blood clotting disorder.

  • Health clinics, local pharmacies, community sites can be accessed via Michigan's county-based online locator. Find the health department for your county using this map. Appointments for sites, such as the FEMA-backed Ford Field COVID-19 vaccination clinic, are available on the state health department's COVID-19 website. If you need assistance finding a site, call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136. Michigan's COVID-19 data dashboard is tracking how many people have been vaccinated in the state.
  • Retail pharmacies: CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and Meijer are offering first shots and boosters, in many instances, on a walk-in basis. You can still book ahead by following the online links. Note that some pharmacy websites require you to answer questions about your vaccination status before presenting the option for a booster. Many pharmacies also allow you to book an appointment for the specific vaccine you prefer. Search for other locations to get your first and second shot or a booster by using www.vaccines.gov, the federal government’s vaccines website. Get the same information by texting your zip code to 438829 or by calling 800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489). 
  • Many transit agencies are offering free or discount rides to and from vaccination sites.

Most residents and staff of Michigan’s long-term care facilities were offered first and second doses through a federal program that provided free on-site vaccinations in late 2020 and early 2021. The program has ended, but the federal government continues to allocate COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to pharmacies that are partnered with long-term care facilities to provide vaccinations, mainly on-site. Facilities that don’t have a pharmacy partner are encouraged to work with local or state health departments — or the federal government, if need be — to provide vaccinations.  

You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine or a booster. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself.

There are reports of scammers purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.

 You should get a small white card at your vaccination appointment with your name, birth date, name of the vaccine you received and the date it was administered. If you receive the Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine, bring your card when you get your second shot.  

You may need your vaccine card to schedule a third vaccine dose, for certain immunocompromised people, or a booster shot.  You may also need it for certain kinds of travel or other activities and may want to take a photo of it with your smartphone for your own records. But experts warn that posting a photo of your card to social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft

If you’ve lost your vaccine card, call the site where you were vaccinated to request a new one or a copy of your vaccination record. You can also contact the state health department to request a replacement card or a copy of your record. 

All four vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections and are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from the disease. But no vaccine is 100 percent effective, and infections can still occur post-vaccination.

This guide was updated on July 20, 2022, with new information about the Novavax vaccine. 

800-div-line-gray.jpg

Also of Interest:

    This story is provided by AARP Michigan. Visit the AARP Michigan page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

    More from AARP in Lansing

    Upcoming AARP Events

    View All AARP Events »


    Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

    AARP Member Card

    Join or Renew Today

    JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

    • Immediate access to your member benefits
    • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
    • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
    • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Lansing
    • Free membership for your spouse or partner
    JOIN NOW