Governor Whitmer addressed concerns today about Michigan’s vaccination efforts.  Asked about criticism that Michigan was lagging in vaccine distribution, Governor Whitmer said that the CDC Website has been reporting inaccurate and outdated info regarding Michigan’s progress.   Governor Whitmer said she is concerned with a lack of vaccines being sent from the Federal Government.  She said Michigan’s goal is to use 90% within 7 days and with a limited supply of vaccine, will run out on a regular basis.    But, three weeks into vaccination efforts, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said she was told by CDC that Michigan is in the top 5 in terms of the percentage of populations vaccinated, and the Governor echoed that.

Reporter Tim Skubick asked the governor that “with 380,000 doses of this vaccine sitting in Michigan, how can you blame the Federal Government for that when this is on your watch, in your state and run by what you’re supposed to be doing?”   The governor said the problem was more complicated than simple math and referred the question to Dr. Khaldun.

Khaldun said, “I think it’s fair to say no one in this country is pleased with the speed of vaccinations.  There were some challenges.  We started over the holidays, and many wanted to wait until after the holidays. We absolutely have work to do.”   She said websites might show a lot of vaccinations available as they first show on local health department sites, but before they’ve had a chance to use them.   She said she thinks we’ll see those numbers going up.

The governor was asked if further restrictions will be put in place and whether the restaurant ban will be extended past the current January 15th date.  Governor Whitmer said she’s waiting to see if there is a post-holiday surge.    “It’s very clear that the pause has worked.  We’ve saved lives and I know that our health systems are grateful and breathed a sigh of relief.   I anticipate more days of data to evaluate before we make the decision and determine where we’re headed.  We’ll make that determination next week.”

Michigan will be moving to the next phase of vaccinations next Monday.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement today that starting on January 11th, people who are 65 and over will be eligible to get vaccinated, as well as some essential workers in schools and child care centers, jails, prisons, and more first responders.

People aged 65 or more are asked to go to the DHHS website and check the local health department site and book appointments when they become available.  Don’t just show up expecting a shot.  You must make an appointment.  The governor says health officials will communicate with you using social media, news outlets, employers, and more.

Highlights of today’s Press Conference

  • Michigan will be moving into the next phase of vaccination on January 11th.
  • Data will be evaluated following the holiday period, and a decision will be made next week on whether restaurants will remain shut down past January 15th.
  • The new strain of Coronavirus has not been detected in Michigan.
  • The Governor criticized the Federal Government for not sending enough vaccines.
  • The Governor was questioned by the press for criticizing the Federal government when there seems to be a surplus of vaccines in the state and Michigan in the top 5 states in the percentage of population already vaccinated.
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