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The unvaccinated make up the vast majority of Michigan’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths

By: - February 7, 2022 9:02 am

Annmarie Timmins/States Newsroom

COVID-19 remains largely a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Michigan are among the unvaccinated, the state’s health department said Thursday.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), from Jan. 15, 2021, to Jan. 14, 2022, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 77.6% of COVID cases, 85% of hospitalizations, and 83% of deaths.

That’s despite the widespread availability of safe, effective, and free vaccines.

The FDA officially approved the Moderna vaccine for people ages 18 and older earlier this week, following its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in August. (They had been previously authorized for emergency use.) Still, only about 65% of Michiganders ages 5 and older have gotten at least one dose, according to the department.

DHHS urged the holdouts to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We now have two fully FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines that have saved millions of lives throughout the pandemic,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, DHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said in a statement. “For Michiganders who have been waiting for this approval, now is the time to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and join the nearly 6.5 million Michigan residents who have already received their first dose. The vaccine remains our best defense against the virus as we continue to face omicron and any future variants.”

While the omicron strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 can cause “breakthrough” infections in the fully vaccinated, the vaccines still prevent hospitalization and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people to get a third booster dose six months after completing two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer shots.

More information is available at

A version of this story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to their newsletters, and follow them on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

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Lee DeVito
Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published in Metro Times, Hour Detroit magazine, Vice, In These Times, and New City.