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Michigan Reaches 55% Vaccination Milestone

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in an attempt to encourage young adults, gets her first COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Apr. 6, 2021, at Ford Field administered by Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun. (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

By Angelina Jahn

On Monday, May 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took to social media to announce that Michigan has reached the first step in the “Michigan Vacc to Normal” plan, with 55% of Michigan residents having been vaccinated.

“I am excited that 55% of Michiganders have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because it puts us one step closer to getting ‘Vacc to Normal’,” Whitmer said in a video she posted on her Twitter. “Everyone is eligible to get their safe, effective shots, and it’s on all of us to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. On May 24, we anticipate allowing a return to in-person work across all sectors, and as more Michiganders get vaccinated, we will continue lifting restrictions to get ‘Vacc to Normal’ safely.”

Whitmer’s “Vacc to Normal” plan is split up into four milestones, with restriction lifts for each one achieved.

  1. 55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
  • Allows in-person work for all sectors of business.

2. 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks

  • Increases indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%.
  • Increases indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes  to 25%.
  • Increases capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%.
  • Lifts the curfew on restaurants and bars.

3. 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks

  • Lifts all indoor % capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties.
  • Further relaxes limits on residential social gatherings.

4. 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks

  • Lifts the Gatherings and Face Masks order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.

Thursday, May 13, Whitmer once again went live to announce that the Pfizer vaccine had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be administered to children ages 12-15. Following this announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met to review the FDA’s decision, ultimately backing the FDA’s decision.

“Today, I adopted CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that endorsed the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and its use in 12 through 15-year-old adolescents,” stated CDC director, Rochelle P. Walensky in a press release Thursday. “CDC now recommends that this vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away.”

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