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Will Michigan ever achieve 70% vaccination rate? Recent trends say it will take a while

Posted at 6:45 AM, May 14, 2021

(WXYZ) — As the country celebrates new CDC guidelines on masks, the State of Michigan still requires masks in many situations, with a lofty goal standing in the way.

RELATED: CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can go without face masks in most settings

The Michigan State Health Department says they are still reviewing the new guidance from the CDC. Last month the state launched a new reopening plan called "Vacc to Normal," where all broad restrictions, including masks, would be lifted when 70% of those 16 and older received their first dose. Right now the rate is a little above 55% and moving slowly.

“You know there is a good chance that we might not get there," said Dr. Matthew Sims, director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Health. "The numbers are slowing down a lot.”

Since hitting a peak of nearly 400,000 first doses during the week ending April 10, new vaccinations have dramatically declined. Last week, there were just over 114,000 doses given. This week is on pace for less than 100,000.

“Some of that is because a lot of people have gotten vaccinated, but some of that is because the people who have not gotten vaccinated, there’s a lot of hesitancy out there,” Dr. Sims said.

Right now, 1.4 million people over 16 still need to get their first dose to reach 70%. If the state could average 100,000 first doses a week moving forward, the threshold for restaurants to fully open (65%) could be reached in about two months. However, for all measures to be lifted, including masks at 70%, that would still take about three and a half months, which is likely sometime in September.

"COVID is probably never going away fully, but the vaccine should be able to bring us to where it’s more like the flu,” Dr. Sims said. "We need to get people vaccinated.”