GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The number of people in Michigan who’ve received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine has now surpassed the total number of cases recorded in the state since March.
It’s a promising sign, indicating the rollout of the desperately needed vaccine is picking up.
“It’s a great marker and a great milestone, and it means we’re getting started,” said Marcia Mansaray of the Ottawa County Health Department. “The demand is really high; we’re glad the demand is really high; we can’t get to them fast enough.”
As of Sunday, Michigan has given out 611,045 first doses of the vaccine, compared to Michigan’s 600,093 the same day. Since then the gap has only grown. As of Tuesday, the vaccination number had risen above 730,000.
“It says we’re getting somewhere,” said Steve Kelso, spokesman for the Kent County Health Department, “but I don’t think it goes anywhere towards mitigating the pain and suffering a lot of families have been through with all of this.”
Kelso and Mansaray believe increased trust in the vaccine (now that experts have over five weeks of vaccination data) and better resources are reasons for the speed of vaccinations. Not to mention, the newly opened clinic at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids has skyrocketed immunizations.
“The faster we can get vaccines in people’s arms the faster we have protection, and the more of a bubble we start to create around our populations, especially the vulnerable ones,” said Mansaray.