A statewide poll conducted on perceptions of the coronavirus vaccine that was released as part of the final day of Ford Field's mass clinic revealed that almost three-quarters of the state either has gotten vaccinated or plan on getting vaccinated.
But among groups that are skeptical of getting the shot, there is deep resentment of the vaccine - something the state identifies as a major barrier to getting widespread protection evenly across the state.
"While it’s worth celebrating the successes we have achieved at Ford Field since the clinic opened March 24, at the same time, we recognize the challenge that lies ahead in Michigan as we continue to try to get all eligible Michiganders vaccinated," Protect Michigan Commission Director Kerry Ebersole Singh said during a virtual news conference today.
How Michigan perceives the COVID-19 Vaccine
A survey conducted between May 5-9 showed there is strong resistance to vaccines among those that have yet to get the shot.
Of the unvaccinated group, 64% of them rejected the vaccine. The other 36% expressed openness to getting the vaccine "under various circumstances and motivations," read a release from the state.
That includes Detroit where citizens have voiced other reasons for their skepticism that don't necessarily lineup with the reported rejection further north in Michigan.
The state also picked up some key details in its survey that offer insight on how to better communicate the importance of vaccines. Notably, authorities that Michigan residents trusted the most to provide reliable information regarding COVID-19 vaccines were personal doctors, followed by family members, and news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Michigan is downsizing its mass vaccine centers now that Ford Field will no longer be hosting the FEMA-operated site.
Singh said mobile teams will continue operating in communities, which is part of a pivot by the state to continue localizing who is administering vaccines. They may have better luck convincing citizens if they utilize the messengers most trusted by skeptical people.
State still aiming for 70% coverage
That's not the first time the 70% figure has shown up. It's also the threshold that health officials laid out last year as the benchmark for reaching some form of herd immunity.
It's also the final milestone on the Mi Vacc to Normal plan that would enable the health department to lift its mask order.
Even with the CDC no longer recommending vaccinated people wear a mask, Michigan is still pushing for 70% coverage as its goal.
Currently, 55.7% of the state has gotten at least one shot.
Last week, Michigan met its first milestone at 55%, which means it will allow in-person office work to resume on May 24.
Ford Field by the numbers
In total, nearly 275,000 vaccine doses were administered during the eight-week operation at Ford Field. That includes 14,000 adolescents.
The Protect Michigan Commission announced that less than .001% of all doses it was given were wasted or spoiled.
While the state had set a goal of administering 350,000 shots at Ford Field, Singh said no extra shots it received were wasted. Instead, they were allocated to other health locations.
Pfizer dominated the Ford Field allocation, with 270,000 shots from the company being given at the site. The other doses came from Johnson & Johnson.
Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties made up 95% of all doses given.