Michigan struggling to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates as cases increase

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 23, 2021

(WXYZ) — A surge in new COVID-19 cases appears to be motivating some people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but some areas are still having trouble moving the needle, like right here in Michigan.

The White House Coronavirus Coordinator said vaccination rates are rising in a few states showing a spike in new cases like Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas and Nevada.

But, when it comes to Michigan, vaccinations are at a standstill. Right now, just over 57% of eligible Michiganders 12 and up have gotten their first dose.

Some areas, like Detroit, have even lower vaccination rates. Currently, only 40% of eligible Detroiters have gotten at least one dose.

The vaccination rate went from a peak of 680,000 doses a week in mid-April to just shy of 60,000 doses last week.

Ethan Shaw said he got one after waiting on the sidelines for a few months. He said pressure from loved ones and the surging Delta variant convinced him to get the shot.

"Akfter my father was preaching to me about it at 6 in the morning for some strange reason, that day I was like you know what, that's it, I won't do it again," he said. "My wife pushed me too so I went and got the shot."

Dr. Asha Shajahan, a family physician at Beaumont Health, said a lot of patients are waiting to make their choice.

"There's a lot of hesitancy as opposed to rejection to the vaccine," Shajahan said. "They just want to make sure it's safe and they want to make sure they are making the right decision for themselves and their families."

A recent survey from the University of Michigan found that roughly 80% of those unvaccinated in Detroit are concerned about the vaccine's safety.

But, 99.5% of Americans who died from COVID-19 in the last six months were unvaccinated, according to the CDC.

Shajahan said these conversations with patients and loved ones are more important than ever as the Delta variant spreads.

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