Northern Michigan Outpaces Rest of State in Vaccine Administration
The state of Michigan has a goal to get 70% of adults vaccinated in order to reach heard immunity and officially end the pandemic.
Right now, the state is on pace to hit that goal between mid-May and the 4th of July.
Vaccines are the tool to get out of the pandemic, according to Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Thursday, the Protect Michigan Commission held a virtual event laying out the strategy specifically for Northern Michigan.
“In Northern Michigan alone we have one in three adult residents that are fully vaccinated,” said Kerry Ebersole-Singh, executive director of the commission, “That’s approximately 200,000 people.”
Northern Michigan is outpacing the rest of the state.
Michigan has 28.1% Michiganders fully vaccinated while 42.5% have had at least one dose.
In Northern Michigan, it’s 33.8% fully vaccinated and 44.8% with at least one dose.
Part of this is due to the older residents living Up North.
“While this is an exciting accomplishment, it does not mean that we can let our guard down just yet,” said Christine Nefcy, Chief Medical Officer at Munson Healthcare.
One hiccup may come from the pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The one dose version was very popular for Northern Michigan as it is easy to administer in rural areas.
“It does put a little bit of a dent in our system but at the end of the day we know with the quantities of Moderna and Pfizer coming into the state,” said Ebersole-Singh, “We are still on track to hopefully hit our goals.”
With or without J&J, Northern Michigan health departments hope to continue to lead the pack to the end.
“We know that this is just such a powerful tool in beating the pandemic,” said Lisa Peacock, Health Officer at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan & Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department, “We’re all excited to see this goal to the end.”