Michigan Gov. Whitmer joins governors across the Midwest urging everyone to stay safe this holiday season

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke Tuesday afternoon on the state of COVID-19, just hours after the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered across the country and in the state. 

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use authorization last week and now the first doses are being administered across the county. In Michigan, the University of Michigan Medicine and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids were the first to give vaccines on Monday.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine could receive emergency approval from the FDA as soon as next week. Johnson & Johnson and Astra Zeneca vaccinations are expected to follow.

Michigan is expecting about 80,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first shipment from the federal government. You can read more about that here

Michigan health officials have also laid out the prioritization plan for who will be receiving the vaccine. Frontline healthcare workers are the top priority. You can read more about that here.

The vaccine is anticipated to be available to the general population in Michigan in spring 2021. 

Gov. Whitmer on Tuesday joined a group of governers across the Midwest in urging everyone across the region to remain safe heading into the holiday season.

“This may be the most difficult time yet in our struggle with COVID-19, especially with the holidays approaching. Until the vaccine is available to everyone and until we eradicate this virus once and for all, we must continue working to protect one another,” the governors said. “The science is settled: The best way we can protect our frontline workers and slow the spread of this virus is to double down on mask wearing, social distancing, and washing hands frequently. If you are planning to travel or gather with other households for the holidays – we urge you to reconsider. Just one infection can cause an outbreak in your community, which could overwhelm our hospitals and put you and your loved ones at risk. We owe it to the brave men and women serving on the front lines of this pandemic to do our part and be smart this holiday season.” 

Meanwhile, as of December 15 the overall case rate in Michigan is at 560 cases per million people per day. The state's medical director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the case rate has been declining for the past 22 days in all regions. 

Also as of Dec. 15, the percent positive is around 12.3% and has been trending down for the past seven days. Dr. Khaldun has said a percent positive rate below 3% indicates community spread isn't happening. 

Dr. Khaldun said the data means health officials are "cautiously optimistic" there was not a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases.