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Vaccine rollout improving in Michigan

More than one million COVID shots given
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:37 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan is doing a better job distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said more than a million shots have been given so far.

Now the problem is getting enough doses from the federal government to meet the demand.

“We have a flexible allocation we are utilizing to allocate to special populations,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS Director

That includes seniors, people of color, and others hardest hit by the virus.

To help bring down our infection rate, Hertel wants to see 70% of Michiganders vaccinated.

Nearly all doses are being given within seven days of them arriving in the state.

But the problem facing health departments is there aren’t enough.

“We are not getting the vaccine in any amount we need. So whatever can be done to get this vaccine would be greatly appreciated,” Roseann Marchetti, Cass - Van Buren Counties Board of Health told the House Oversight committee Thursday.

Hertel told the committee while there isn’t enough vaccine now, things are improving.

“We’re heading there, where these issues will become non-issues because we will have so many doses available,” Hertel said.

That’s because the federal government is ordering more doses.

Pfizer spokeswoman Lisa Coon told the state House Health Policy Committee that it’s providing 121 million doses by the end of March.

“We also expect to provide the next 100 million to the US by the end of May. That advances our timeline under the contract by two full months,” said Coon.

Hertel said those doses coming to Michigan are going straight to local health departments and hospitals, not the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state is now focusing on getting the vaccine to local health departments to distribute instead of hospitals.

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