Michigan has hit a new milestone in the race to vaccinate residents against COVID-19.
The state reported on Monday that 70.2% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Just under 60% of residents five and older have at least one dose.
Originally, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reopening plan was tied to reaching the 70% vaccination mark, but the state decided to lift pandemic restrictions back in June, following CDC guidance on masks and infection rates. Michigan reached the 55% mark back in May.
“We know the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are our way out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “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.”
MDHHS said from January to October, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 93.1% of COVID cases, 90.7% of hospitalizations and 90.5% of deaths.
Michigan has administered more than 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including more than six million Pfizer doses, nearly four million Moderna doses, and about 365,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Nearly 70% of residents 40 and older are fully vaccinated in Michigan, including nearly 80% of residents 65 and older.
“This is great news and we have been looking forward to surpassing this milestone since the vaccines became available,” said MDHHS 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.”
COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Michigan, along with deaths and hospitalizations. Hospitals sounded an alarm last week, with Beaumont calling it the fourth wave of COVID in Michigan, and suggesting it could last for months.