With slowing demand, when could Michigan hit the next COVID-19 vaccination benchmark?

Posted at 5:34 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 05:34:12-04

It's been one week since Michigan hit its first COVID-19 vaccine benchmark at 55%, which will allow in-person office work to resume starting next week.

Vaccination rates are slowing, and it has only increased about .7% as of Friday. So, what's the best-case scenario for reaching the next milestone, 60%? It depends on a lot of variables.

"It's sort of tough to say exactly how it's going to play out now because a lot of it is going to depend on how well we can get people access and how well can we show people and convince people that it's safe and that they should get vaccinated," Dr. Marisa Eisenberg, an associate professor of epidemiology & complex systems at the University of Michigan said.

As of Friday, there have been 55.7% of Michiganders who have had at least one dose of a COVID19 vaccine.

Eisenberg also helps the state with infectious disease modeling. She said if we kept up with the same pace as the week ending May 9, using simple math, we could reach 70% by some time in August.

But, she said, it's not that simple.

"Now we won't do that. We're already seeing lower demand this week than we did last week," she said.

She said that's a best-case scenario, but keeping the vaccination rate up will help keep case counts low, along with quarantining, isolating and contact tracing.

At the same rate, we'd reach 60% by June, and 65% by mid-July.

"It kind of shows you some sense of, if you could boost it and get people to start coming in more and kind of keep up the pace that we had been seeing in recent weeks and you could hit it relatively soon," she said. "On the other hand, if that doesn't happen then, ya know, it takes up to maybe a couple years."

Eisenberg points out that kids 12-15 years old having access to the vaccine could change the numbers, but as of now, the state is still keeping the 16+ age group when it comes to the reopening plan.

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