About 60% of eligible Michigan residents age 16 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, officials announced Friday.
“Thanks to every Michigander who stepped up to keep themselves, their family, and their community safe,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “We can all feel a sense of optimism thanks to the tireless efforts of countless frontline workers who put their own safety on the line to keep the rest of us going. And we are tremendously grateful to the medical community who kept us all safe and created the safe, effective vaccines, all miracles of modern science.”
Whitmer’s administration previously set a goal to lift pandemic restrictions when 70% of residents got vaccinated, but switched gears when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly announced new recommendations that said fully vaccinated people can ditch mask-wearing and social distancing. Under the new plan, most pandemic restrictions will be lifted in Michigan on July 1.
“As we cross the 60% milestone in vaccinations, we are seeing cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to fall fast, which has helped to poise our economy for a strong recovery,” Whitmer added. “I know that we can give Michigan the economic jumpstart it needs with the billions in available federal funds and our multi-billion dollar budget surplus. We will emerge from this once-in-a-century pandemic stronger than ever, and I am confident that we can make lasting, transformative investments in our schools, small businesses, and communities to help them thrive.”
While the state is emphasizing the rate of people who have received at least one dose of the vaccines, medical officials say it is important to get both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to get full protection against the virus.
The Whitmer administration did not respond to numerous requests from Metro Times for comment about why it is emphasizing one dose instead of two.
President Joe Biden announced a goal to get at least 70% of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4, a target that appears to be increasingly unlikely to be reached as vaccination enthusiasm wanes in many states. According to an analysis by The Detroit News, Michigan is unlikely to achieve the 70% goal by July 4.
However, according to a press release, Michigan has administered more shots per 100,000 people than Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Georgia.
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II called on residents to continue to encourage their neighbors to get vaccinated.
“I am pleased to see that so many Michiganders are continuing to make the choice to get vaccinated,” he said in a statement. “Thank you to every person who has had a conversation with someone in their life to encourage them to get vaccinated, and the professionals and volunteers who have made vaccines available everywhere in our state.”
He added, “These safe, effective vaccines are our best shot to end this pandemic on our own terms. As more Michiganders make that choice, we come closer and closer to confidently growing our economy across the board, and setting our path toward a stronger Michigan. As we reach these vaccine milestones, we’re able to hug our families, return to offices, enjoy a dinner out at our favorite restaurant, and safely spend time with friends.”
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