McLaren Flint Takes the Fight to COVID-19 with Vaccination Rollout

McLaren Flint recently joined hospitals across the country, as they began the process of immunizing health care workers against COVID-19.

“It has been nine grueling months for our staff, our patients, and our community,” said Dr. Binesh Patel, Chief Medical Officer at McLaren Flint. “With vaccinations available now for health care workers we can finally take the fight directly to COVID-19.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, which began being distributed to hospitals the week of December 14. McLaren Flint received its first shipment on December 17 and is expecting to receive additional quantities over the next few weeks.

During the vaccine’s development and clinical trials, federal agencies prioritized who across the U.S. should receive the vaccine and when. Health care workers are among the first group to be authorized. It was also determined that emergency personnel, high-risk populations and residents in nursing homes should receive their inoculations within the first few weeks of the vaccine’s release.

Genesee County health officials will announce when these high-risk populations are eligible to get the vaccine. Local, state, and federal agencies will communicate to the public as soon as other groups of people can begin getting inoculated.

“As exciting as it is to have the vaccines, we need everyone to continue wearing their masks, use good hand hygiene, and maintain social distancing,” added Dr. Patel. “The vaccination process will take several months to complete, and we cannot let down our guard. If we do all these things as a community, we can defeat the virus and get back to the normal lives we all miss.”

In early December, McLaren Health Care hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other subsidiaries surveyed their team members, medical staffs, and contract workers’ interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

McLaren then used that data and information from the vaccine producers to create a plan to immunize its staff. It is expected to take several weeks to immunize the health care workers affiliated with McLaren who want the vaccine. This timeline is due to the logistics of administering the shot, minimizing the number of caregivers who may experience side effects at one time, and the availability of doses from the pharmaceutical manufacturers.

McLaren Health Care and Walgreens have also launched an innovative partnership where certain McLaren team members authorized to receive the vaccine in the initial distribution will be able to receive their vaccination at a nearby Walgreens store. The collaboration will expedite the immunization of McLaren staff and enhance safety by minimizing the number of team members required to go inside the hospital to receive their vaccinations.

Dr. Patel also stresses that McLaren Flint continues to care for all patients. Anyone experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness or numbness, slurred speech, changes in mental status, concussion or confusion, head or eye injury, broken bones, seizures, or severe abdominal pain, may need emergency care. Some of these conditions may require time-sensitive interventions or surgeries and should not be delayed. The consequences could be severe. For those with non-life-threatening conditions Emergency Room online appointment scheduling is available at both McLaren Flint and McLaren Fenton.

McLaren Flint continues to offer safe care to patients. For more information about these ongoing efforts, visit