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With COVID-19 vaccine slow in coming, Whitmer asks Michiganders to double down on prevention

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 22:17:24-05

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on Michiganders to double down on protecting themselves against COVID-19 Monday and said she remains hopeful that increased vaccination efforts will contain the virus.

“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 once we have the vaccines that we need. Every eligible Michigander that wants a vaccine will get one,” Whitmer said.

Sparrow Health System is reporting that distribution numbers for vaccines have “risen dramatically” since last week’s opening of Sparrow’s Frandor drive-thru services center as a distribution site.

A Jackson County vaccine expert said last week that tracking the future roll out is difficult without enough doses on hand.

“We’ve got a lot more demand than we have supply. We have people calling us trying to get it as fast as they can but I don’t think we know how fast we can get through it until we know that we can at least meet the demand that is there right now,” said Dr. Courtland Keteyian, president of the Jackson Health Network.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail got emotional explaining that health officials are using every dose they receive.

I’m really heartbroken reading an email about a person that’s still waiting. And I’ve been in tears before as well. I wish i had all the vaccine I could and I could get all 40,000,” Vail said.

Cases and positivity rates across the state are trending down following major surges in November.

“Case rates are now at 203 per million. That’s down 72 percent from that November peak we saw,” Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.

Michigan has identified at least 17 cases of the B117 strain of COVID, which appears to be more transmissible. It's been found in Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

“Because this virus is more easily spread we must do more testing so we know where the virus is and we can quickly reach out to people so they isolate and quarantine appropriately,” Khaldun said.

Whitmer also made a plea to legislators to work with her to pass a COVID recovery bill she says will help Michiganders facing food insecurity due to the pandemic.

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