COVID-19 vaccination rates slowing in Michigan as reopening tied to vaccines

Posted at 5:49 AM, May 05, 2021

(WXYZ) — Metro Detroit and Michigan are continuing to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but vaccination rates are slowing down in the area.

At TCF Center, vaccine demand was through the roof, but now we're at a point where most adults in metro Detroit who want a vaccine have gotten one, and without a real change in public perception of the shot, changing the current pace will be a tall order.

“The population that’s left is the population that’s really just very very resistant to trying to get this," DMC Vice President of Academic Affairs Patricia Wilkerson-Uddyback said.

She thinks it's going to be a long summer and fall, trying to convince people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“You know what I keep hearing is, it was just developed too soon. I just don’t trust it. I’ll just wait," she said. "I think that that waiting is really going to continue to have us all dealing with this virus for a long time to come.”

Doses administered in Michigan have steadily declined since mid-April, going from more than 668,000 doses the week of April 10 to just more than 409,000 doses last week.

The counties leading the way with the highest percentage vaccinated are Up North. Leelanau County is at 68.7% vaccinated; Grand Traverse County with just more than 62% and Emmet County with just more than 61%.

Then, Washtenaw County and Oakland County are just under 60% vaccinated.

The areas lagging include the City of Detroit, with just more than 31% vaccinated, Cass County with 33% vaccinated, and Hillsdale County with just more than 35%.

“This has to be all hands on deck. And I know we’re not going to reach everyone. I get that, but I’m not going to stop trying. Because this really is about our economy. This really is about our individual health. It’s about our families, the strength of our state," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on MSNBC last night.

This week, the state confirmed it did not order its full vaccine allocation due to the dip in demand.

Still though, President Joe Biden is setting a goal of 70% of American adults having at least one dose and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4.

“The longer we go without having a larger percentage of our people vaccinated, we’re going to see more variants develop," Wilkerson-Uddyback said.

The state health department is targeting those who are homebound or more likely to want a shot in their own neighborhood or church, so it's focusing vaccine efforts toward those areas and moving away from vaccination sites like TCF.

Last week, Whitmer unveiled a four-step plan to lifting COVID-19 restrictions, which starts when 55% of Michiganders have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Two weeks after that, in-person work will be allowed to resume at all businesses.

Two weeks after 60% of people are vaccinated - 4,858,150 residents

  • Indoor capacity at sports stadiums will increase to 25%
  • Indoor capacity at conference centers, banquet halls & funeral homes will increase to 25%
  • Bars and restaurants will not be required to close early

Two weeks after 65% of people are vaccinated - 5,262,996 residents

  • All indoor capacity limits will be lifted
  • Social distancing still has to be maintained

Two weeks after 70% of people are vaccinated - 5,667,842 residents

  • Gatherings and Facemask order will be lifted by the MDHHS

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