Michigan COVID-19 vaccine rates rise for third straight week amid Delta surge

After a consistent decline in the number of people getting their first dose of the vaccine, Michigan has reported three straight weeks of increases for the COVID-19 vaccine.

After bottoming out in mid-July with only 28,770 first-dose shots, the state has seen administrations of 30,502, 35,952, and 41,150 vaccine doses over the last three weeks. 

The turnaround has coincided with a dangerous upswing in new cases as well as the rise of the Delta variant and its more infectious capabilities. 

Ironically, the state's vaccine lottery campaign ended only five days ago. It was designed to boost coverage rates among populations more hesitant to get the vaccine. 

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But even with $5 million on the line, there was little movement in the rate of new vaccinations in Michigan.

Alarm bells are going off around the country in states will low vaccine rates that are now seeing some of the highest hospitalization rates ever reported. The vast majority of those people were not vaccinated against the virus.

In states like Louisiana where a new mask mandate is in place, hospitals are caring for more pediatric cases. Florida just reported its highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 to date. Arkansas says it only has six open ICU beds as of Wednesday afternoon. 

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While Michigan's caseloads remain low relative to the south, new infections have doubled in recent weeks. Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties are now all showing high enough infection rates to warrant eligibility in the CDC's new eviction moratorium