MI sets COVID-19 booster vaccine goal, action items for Michganders


FILE – Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a cooler before being thawed at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. On Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) — As of today, the Great Lakes state now has a goal in mind for COVID-19 booster vaccine doses.

Courtesy: WOODTV

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the goal is to have 1 million more Michiganders vaccinated with a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 31, 2022.

The 1 million goal includes 95% of all eligible nursing home residents.

As Omicron becomes the dominant COVID-19 variant in the United States, we all have to step up this holiday season to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Our hospitals and health care workers have been working tirelessly to save lives, and we are in for a tough four to six weeks. We must all take action to protect ourselves and help our healthcare workers and hospitals do their jobs. I encourage every Michigander who is eligible to get their booster shot.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel also spoke on Omicron and what MDHHS is doing to help Michiganders.

Elizabeth Hertel, courtesy of MDHHS.gov

Today, we remain at a severe point in the pandemic. As the more transmissible Omicron variant continues to spread, now is the time for everyone to make sure you have plans for the holidays that will keep you and your family safe into the New Year and make sure we all have access to care if we need it. We have been surging staffing, requesting more resources, and prioritizing keeping Michiganders safe. None of us can predict whether we will get mild or severe symptoms or find ourselves facing long COVID symptoms. Even otherwise healthy and young people can get sick or end up needing care, so it is important that everyone use all the proven prevention strategies at our disposal. If you are gathering with family, friends or traveling to a bowl game, be extra vigilant, get vaccinated, get tested and wear a mask to keep yourself and your family safe.”

Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS Director

MDHHS has issued the following action items for Michiganders:

  • Get your vaccine or get your booster. You can find an appointment at Vaccines.gov
  • MDHHS advided to mask up in public indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings. Use additional layers such as a KN95 mask or wear two well-fitting face coverings.
  • Immunocompromised people should take all precautions of unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask.
  • Wear a mask If a member of your household has a weakened immune system.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms consistent with for COVID-19 or if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

MDHHS has been coordinating the allocation and monitoring of federally distributed Monoclonal Antibody medication, working on expansion and identifying staffing resources for sites.

Additionally, MDHHS has been supplying mechanical ventilators to meet demand in ICUs and surging local supplies of PPE.

Michigan’s positivity rate has decreased but remains at 16.2%.

Over the past month, 30-39-years-olds were experiencing the highest case rate and there were increases in hospital admissions among most age groups under 50.

Inpatient hospital beds are now 20.8% occupied by individuals with COVID. This number has been increasing for more than five months.

The mortality rate is high too, as there were 756 COVID deaths from Dec. 3-9.

From Jan. 3 to Dec. 15, 2021, people who were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated represented 85.1% of COVID-19 cases, 88.1% of hospitalizations and 85.5% of deaths, according to the state.

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