State stresses flu shots, but no new re-openings

Gov. Whitmer gets vaccinated live on stage
Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 17:13:26-04

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday got her flu shot during a live press conference, after announcing a new state health department campaign to remind Michiganders to do the same.

The MDHHS Facing the Flu Together campaign will remind Michigan residents that getting a flu vaccine during a pandemic that’s already taxing the healthcare system, is more vital than ever.

“When we all get the flu vaccine, we can help keep thousands of flu patients out of the hospitals and prevent that overcrowding,” said Gov. Whitmer on Tuesday.

While the world remains months away from a COVID-19 vaccine, this year’s flu vaccines are ready to be administered.

“In Michigan, you can get a flu vaccine at clinics, doctor’s offices, your local health department, retail pharmacies, some schools, and workplaces, and in most cases, they are covered by your insurance,” said Gov. Whitmer.

Last year the CDC estimated just over 34,000 flu deaths in the United States.

Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospitals Association, said they were asking their hospitals and healthcare systems to provide vaccines – not just to frontline healthcare workers as they usually do – but to all 230,000 Michigan healthcare employees.

Last year Michigan vaccinated roughly 3.2 million residents. They’re aiming for a 33% increase this year, hoping to add another million to last year’s total.

Absent from the Governor’s Tuesday press conference were any announcements about further re-openings. Some had anticipated an announcement about businesses like gyms, theatres and bowling alleys re-opening, but the governor said it was too early to say.

“It is something that we are continuing to scrutinize,” she said. “I’m not going to be bullied into making that decision, I’m going to follow the science.”