Whitmer urges adults to get COVID-19 booster 6 months out

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday urged all adults to schedule a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine if they are at least six months from when they were fully vaccinated, as Michigan confronted surging infections and hospitalizations.

The governor said residents should do so once U.S. regulators allow boosters for anyone 18 and older.

"We need to build on that momentum and ensure that everyone who is fully vaccinated gets a booster, too," she said in a statement. "I also encourage parents to take their children, 5 and older, to get vaccinated because it is the best way to prevent them from getting sick, being hospitalized, or developing long-term symptoms from COVID-19."

In the last week, governors in California, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia and Colorado have expanded shots to all adults without waiting for the federal government.

People who initially received Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations currently are eligible for a booster six months later if they are 65 or older, or are at high risk of COVID-19 because of health problems or their job or living conditions.

Michigan had the country's second-highest case rate over the last week, and the seven-day average — 7,187 — was approaching peaks from April and last December. 

One in every 199 people tested positive in the past week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The state recorded 242 additional deaths Wednesday, including 177 that occurred weeks or months ago, for a total of more than 23,000 to date.