Advance Notice: Briefs

70% of Michiganders 16 and up have gotten at least one COVID shot

By: - November 16, 2021 7:51 am

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered at the TCF Center in Detroit.

Roughly 11 months after the first doses of the free COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Michigan, the state says it has reached its goal of 70% of residents 16 and older receiving at least one shot.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on Monday announced that nearly 5.7 million Michiganders have received at least one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines or 70.2%.

“We know the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are our way out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at DHHS. “Vaccines are how we prevent infectious variants from spreading and threatening our ability to contain the pandemic. It’s important to take a moment to celebrate the hard work of those who have developed these vaccines, as well as those who have administered vaccines these past many months. We also thank Michiganders who have done their part to keep their families and communities safe by getting vaccinated.”

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise again in Michigan, with the state reporting Monday that there have been an additional 21,034 cases and 95 deaths since Friday. A total of 1,209,712 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 22,862 have died from the virus.

From January to October, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 93.1% of COVID cases, 90.7% of hospitalizations and 90.5% of deaths. As more individuals are vaccinated, it is less likely that the virus will circulate and mutate, avoiding the development of more transmissible and vaccine-resistant variants in the future.

“This is great news and we have been looking forward to surpassing this milestone since the vaccines became available,” said DHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “We urge Michiganders who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to continue practices we know help stop the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and social distancing. The vaccine continues to be how we will return to normalcy in the state, and we thank all of those who have done their part to end this pandemic.”

Children as young as 5 are now eligible for the vaccine after final approval came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month. An additional 825,000 Michigan kids can now be vaccinated against COVID.

Evidence suggests that immunity from the vaccine can wane over time, which is why there are recommendations for booster doses.

To find a vaccination site, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine and VaccineFinder.org.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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