Michigan Passes COVID-19 Milestone: Vaccinations Now Exceed Cases Since March

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Michigan now has more people at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 than the number of diagnosed cases since last March.

At least 611,045 Michigan residents have received the first dose of vaccine as of Sunday, Jan. 24, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. The real number is likely larger because of reporting lags, especially for the program vaccinating long-term care residents and staff.

By comparison, Michigan has 600,093 coronavirus cases diagnosed since the pandemic began in March. That includes 551,080 cases confirmed by a coronavirus test and another 49,013 probable cases based on symptoms and exposure.

Nationwide, the United States has vaccinated 18.5 million people so far compared to about 25.8 million diagnosed coronavirus cases.

The vaccination program began Dec. 14. Since then, Michigan has administered 730,453 doses: 119,408 individuals have received both doses of the vaccine and another 491,637 have gotten one dose.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide about 50% protection from COVID-19 after the first dose and about 95% protection two weeks after the second dose.

Michigan currently ranks 16th in the country in per-capita vaccine administration, based on data posted Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

At a news briefing Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state’s health-care providers have quickened the pace of vaccine administration in the past few weeks and the state is using vaccine doses almost as fast as it receives shipments. Allotments to date have either been administered or have scheduled appointments for their use, Gov. Whitmer said.

The program to vaccinate long-term care residents and staff have finished the first round of vaccinations at skilled nursing homes and is holding vaccination clinics at assisted living centers and other group setting, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical officer at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“I’m proud — as we all should be — at the progress that we’ve made,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I know that people are anxious and ready to get the vaccine. The fact of the matter is, we don’t yet have the kind of supply that we need.

“Yet we do have a plan for 50,000 shots in arms per day,” she said. “Once we have the vaccines that we need every eligible Michigander who wants a vaccine will get the vaccine. This process though is like a locomotive. It is cumbersome and bumpy and slow at the beginning, but we will be picking up steam and things will be going faster. I just ask for patience as we work to get shots in arms.”

*Originally published in MLive.


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