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Gov. Whitmer says Michigan is entering new phase of COVID-19 vaccinations

The governor says beginning January 11, all Michigan counties will be able to vaccinate those 65 and older against the virus. Some essential workers are included in this phase.
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 6:05 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) – As Michigan marks 500,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, Governor Grethchen Whitmer says the state is entering a new phase of vaccinations.

“In the past three weeks, we have administered more than 152,000 vaccines,” said Whitmer during a coronavirus update on January 6.

The governor says beginning January 11, all Michigan counties will be able to vaccinate those 65 and older against the virus. Essential workers--such school staff, first responders, and jail and prison staff—are also included in this phase.

“The quicker we act to distribute this vaccine, the quicker we can reduce the strain on our healthcare system and put an end to this pandemic once and for all,” Whitmer said.

According to Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the goal is to get 70% of Michiganders age 16 and over vaccinated as soon as possible. She also says some numbers are down or have reached a plateau. However, the MDHHS still has concerns.

“12.6% of inpatient beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Khaldun. “That is down from 19.6% on December 4, which is a good thing. However, the percent of tests that are positive is now at 9.6%, and this is concerning as it had been at 8.2% on December 27.”

Whitmer says another goal is to use 90% of vaccines within seven days of receiving them, although she says vaccines are coming in slowly from the federal government.

The governor also addressed the debate in Washington over the presidential election results, saying we need to move forward and focus on the pandemic.

“If you love the land of the free and respect the will of its people, we cannot have one without the other,” said Whitmer. “Now is the time to end the partisan games and get to work to save lives.”

Whitmer says the MDHHS will need more data before coming to a decision on whether to extend or lift the current pandemic restrictions, which are set to end January 15.

Read the state’s update here. For information from Upper Michigan health departments, click here.

Watch Wednesday’s full press conference below or directly on the TV6 & FOX UP Facebook page.

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