SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a new plan to motivate Michiganders to get vaccinated against COVID to lift restrictions.
May 3 update: Michigan reaches 7 million COVID vaccine doses
The plan has thresholds to reach: 55%, 60%, 65% and 70% vaccinated. Theoretically, how long will it take to reach those steps?
To answer that question Local 4 reached out to Dr. Patrick Nelson, the chairman of Lawrence Technological University’s Math and Computer Science Department.
Nelson evaluated two sets of numbers the state has: Those fully vaccinated and those with one dose. Assuming vaccination rates remain status quo, which is 33,000 shots per day and Whitmer’s guidance that she will lift work remote requirements when vaccinations of one dose hit 55%. Nelson said that should come in about 18 days.
“In terms of mathematics it’s a very straightforward equation to a slope formula, y+mx+b,” Nelson said.
If vaccination rates were to remain static, Nelson said we would see a 5% increase every 15 days. The problem is those vaccination rates are starting to slow down.
“If you look at the numbers though, the rate of people getting vaccinated is decreasing,” Nelson said. “Because of that, I think it’s going to be tough to get to the higher numbers if you simply look at it mathematically.”
So how long would it take to get to that 70% threshold if the vaccination rate remained as it is right now? Nelson said it depends on whether the governor required that 70% be fully vaccinated or have just one dose. If it’s fully vaccinated we’re looking at 118 days, if one dose 63 days.
“Seventy percent is an operational goal,” Whitmer said during her news conference Thursday. “We know that we’re going to work to vaccinate everyone that we can. The more people that get vaccinated, the better.”
Whitmer said Pfizer has applied for the right to vaccinate people ages 12-15 years old, which could also affect the way these milestones are viewed.
“When younger kids become eligible, we’ll continue to push our energy and our efforts to making sure that they get vaccinated, as well, and that ultimately our work will not be done when we hit one of these goals, but that we can enjoy a lot of things that we’ve all be craving when we do,” Whitmer said.