Doctor says underlying health conditions likely to blame for vaccine deaths

"To date, we have administered 1,657,215 vaccines," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

As more Michiganders get vaccinated against COVID-19, doctors are reassuring patients - it's safe - after recent reports of some people dying within days of getting the shots.

"We are targeting an older population right now for getting the vaccine - 65 and older," said Dr. Matthew Sims, MD.

Sims is the director of Infectious Diseases Research at Beaumont Health. Here in Michigan, there have been reports of 28 people dying within days of receiving the vaccine.

There have been more than a thousand deaths nationwide where more than 57 million doses have been administered. Sims says deaths are investigated and are largely among people are older and have underlying health conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer's, cancer and strokes as likely causes.

"So far - having given millions of doses of these vaccines now - there's no signal that there's any increased death, any increased stroke - any increased anything 

The state health department says the vaccines are safe and effective and have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.  Yet Dr. Sims knows some people are still nervous about getting vaccinated.

FOX 2: "What would you tell them?"

"I would tell them to get the vaccine," Sims said. "This vaccine will protect you against Covid. The risks of this vaccine are so much lower than the risks of Covid - especially in the older population."

An older population that is anxious to get back to normal-looking forward to seeing - and hugging their grandchildren.

"Of course they're going to want to see their grandkids - just do it safely," he said. 

Sims says that means continuing to take the precautions you've heard over and over - even after you get your shots.

"I'm vaccinated, but when I leave the house and I'm interacting with people, I'm wearing the mask, I'm keeping my social distance," he said. "All of those things are still important until we get enough people vaccinated that we can really get to that herd immunity that we keep talking about."