LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that Michigan has reached the state’s 70% goal of eligible residents age 16 and over receiving at least one dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. To date, nearly 5.7 million Michiganders have received at least one of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines since the first doses became available less than a year ago.
“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.”
The state’s objective remains to get as many Michiganders vaccinated as possible, as the vaccine is the best defense against 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 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.”
Last month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive to state departments and agencies to expedite the ordering and distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric coronavirus vaccinations to protect younger Michiganders between the ages of 5 to 11 years old and ensure that students could continue in-person learning in a safe environment this year.
Evidence suggests that immunity from the vaccine can wane over time, which is why there are recommendations for booster doses to maintain the protective effect of the primary vaccine series.
Under similar executive orders signed by Governor Whitmer, the state of Michigan has prioritized booster doses for residents in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and adult foster care, and has been working to expedite delivery of third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to residents who have compromised immune systems.