Michigan reaches 60% COVID-19 vaccine coverage

Michigan reached another COVID-19 vaccine benchmark Friday when it eclipsed the 60% benchmark it set months ago.

A total of 4.86 million Michigan citizens have received at least one dose of either Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the state dashboard tracking health metrics.

The encouraging news still leaves Michigan about 10% behind its goal of 70% immunity. 

"As we cross the 60% milestone in vaccinations, we are seeing cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to fall fast, which has helped to poise our economy for a strong recovery," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Friday news release. "I know that we can give Michigan the economic jumpstart it needs with the billions in available federal funds and our multi-billion dollar budget surplus."

It is true that Michigan is trending in the right direction. The state has seen some of the lowest numbers in its daily cases this week, months after Michigan had the highest infection rate in the country. 

Much of the state has reopened as a result while stringent mask rules have largely been lifted for those who are already vaccinated.

Yet, several million residents still haven't received a vaccine. That could create an issue in the future depending on the strength of immunity given by the vaccine.

According to a tool released by the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Michigan might reach its preferred goal by August.

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However, the protection offered by the vaccines has been shown to last at least nine months and likely longer.