Posted by The Huron Hub — March 31, 2021
Governor Whitmer raised Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination goal from 50,000 to 100,000 shots per day in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Michigan.
The new goal is based on the state’s efforts to expand equitable and efficient vaccine administration by partnering with private and public organizations in communities across the state, and is made possible by continuous week-over-week increases in the number of vaccines allocated to the state of Michigan, the governor said on Wednesday.
Michigan is also ramping up testing in an effort to “slow the spread of COVID-19,” the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.
According to MDHHS, testing plus masks and vaccines are the best tools we have to slow spread of the virus.
Michigan is facing a third surge in cases, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
Michigan reportedly had the nation’s second-highest infection rate over the past two weeks.
“Michigan is making great strides as our rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines continues ramping up,” Whitmer said. “The safe, effective vaccines are one of the best ways to protect you and your family from coronavirus, and they are essential to getting our country back to normal so we can hug our families, get back to work, send our kids to school, and get together again. These new, higher vaccine targets are a testament to what we can do together, and we need to meet them so we can keep rebuilding our economy. Thanks to capable leadership at the national level, heroic efforts by frontline workers who are working around the clock, and the dedication of millions of Michiganders, we will put this pandemic behind us. I urge everyone to continue doing their part with masks, social distancing, and hand washing, and when you are eligible, get your vaccine.”
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is increasing testing and urging Michiganders to continue mitigation practices that help slow the spread of the virus.
“Now is the time for us all to come together and do what’s necessary to end this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We are making progress in the fight against the virus with more than 4 million doses administered and 2.6 million Michiganders having at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVD-19 vaccine. It is important, now more than ever, that we double down on the things that work: wearing masks, social distancing, getting tested and making plans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens the state’s progress in controlling the pandemic and MDHHS continues to monitor the data closely.
“Our goal is to loosen restrictions while reducing public health risk which is why we move slowly to maintain progress and momentum with thoughtful public health measures,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We are also increasing testing in key populations to help identify cases more quickly, and help prevent additional spread of the virus.”
As part of the state’s efforts to help fight the virus and keep Michiganders healthy:
-More than 1.4 million antigen tests have been sent to long-term care facilities.
-More than 72,000 free tests have been conducted at neighborhood testing sites in socially vulnerable communities and continue to provide testing. To locate a testing site near you, visit gov/Coronavirustest.
-Over 76,000 students, student-athletes and educators in K-12 schools have been tested in more than 500 school districts.
-Testing for student-athletes begins Friday, April 2. This testing program is vital to ensure school can remain open and students are able to be in the classroom.
-Free post-spring break testing pop up sites are planned for school districts in 34 communities.
-Testing sites at Welcome Centers and Michigan airports are in the works for returning travelers.
As April 5, all Michiganders age 16 and up who were not previously eligible will be eligible to receive a vaccine.
This is based on the anticipated amount of vaccines becoming available to the state and President Biden’s directive that all adults should be eligible by May 1.
As providers are scheduling appointments, they should consider an individual’s risk of exposure due to their employment and their vulnerability to severe disease in determining how to prioritize scheduling appointments. Vaccine providers with the capacity to vaccinate all individuals ages 16 years and older may do so at this time.
It is anticipated that it may still take several weeks beyond April 5 for everyone who wishes to receive a vaccine to have an appointment.
Michiganders are encouraged to be patient as supplies and appointments continue to expand. Those who want the vaccine will be able to get the vaccine.
In next week’s shipment, the Biden Administration will increase the state’s direct allocation by 66,020 doses for a total of 620,040 vaccines, a weekly record high for Michigan.
This allocation includes 147,800 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“The state is working hand-in-hand with health care systems, local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, primary care providers and others to get Michiganders vaccinated with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Providers have administered more than four million doses in just four months and we praise and appreciate their willingness to serve their communities, and are confident they will meet and exceed the new 100,000 shots per day goal.”