DETROIT – Michigan’s vaccination rates have shot up this weekend, getting the state closer to the benchmarks for reopening.
As of Saturday, 54% of eligible Michiganders have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine -- higher than the 51.5% reported Friday.
The first tier of reopening Michigan that allows in-person work for all sectors of business will go into effect once the state reaches 55%.
Health officials said the jump in vaccinations is because the state is factoring in people who were vaccinated outside the state or at federal facilities. Another reason for the uptick is local leaders urging people to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination Week” wrapped up Saturday at Second Ebenezer Church on Dequindre Street in Detroit.
“We knew that in the Black Caucus in Congress that Black people died at a disproportionate rate, hospitalized at a disproportionate rate, and we said we need to do something,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence. “I really have attended way too many funerals. Way too many memorials and sat outside of a hospital, praying for people in my community. We must get our act together. I’m telling everyone, I sit here today, having both of my shots.”
It’s a message that Metro Detroit leaders are hoping residents will hear and take to heart.
“We have been at this for a while and what we need at this point is for trusted voices to reach out and talk to people that matter to them,” said Detroit mayor Mike Duggan.
“As we continue to talk about this, to really understand that this is something that impacts all of us, no matter our backgrounds,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “Please stop politicizing this and understand this is a public health crisis.”
“This is what we have worked for in Washington to get the resources to have the vaccination sites like what we have here at Second Ebenezer and like what we had at TCF and all around Michigan,” said Rep. Haley Stevens. “We are on the way to a recovery.”
While Vaccination Week has ended, residents can get the vaccine at multiple sites across Metro Detroit.
“Our rollout continues to speed up,” Whitmer said. “We administered 6 million doses in just over four months. As we get closer to achieving our goal of equitably vaccinating 70% of Michiganders 16 and up, we have to remember that we are still in this fight against the virus.”
Since the Pfizer became the first to have a COVID-19 vaccine approved, Michigan officials have touted a goal to get 70% of residents 16 and older vaccinated. That’s still the case.
“Since Michigan began our vaccine rollout, Gov. Whitmer and I promised that every Michigander who wanted a vaccine would receive one safely,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said. “We are now 7 million doses closer to that goal, well ahead of schedule. Every dose brings us closer to reaching our goal of equitably vaccinating at least 70% of Michigander’s ages 16 and older as soon as possible, but as we get closer to achieving our goal, we have to remember that we are still in this fight against the virus.”