The Latest COVID-19 Vaccine News for the Week of March 5
Thanks to those who were able to join us for the Monday Morning COVID-19 Briefing & Roundup. Please join us again on Monday for our ongoing weekly series for the latest COVID-19 related news. After weeks of relatively little vaccine related news, this week saw some significant new developments.
Latest Vaccine News
On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. expect to take have enough vaccines for all adults by the end of May. This is two month earlier than the previous estimate. Part of the reason for the accelerated time line was due in part to the announcement that drugmaker Merck will help produce the Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved vaccine. One day earlier the White House announced they would increase the number of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines delivered to states next week. Instead of 14.5 million doses, states will receive 15.2 million. The administration did try to temper expectations by saying the process of vaccinating American adults could still extend into the summer.
Closer to home, on Wednesday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services expanded vaccine eligibility to Michiganders over age 50 with medical conditions or disabilities. In addition, caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special needs may also be vaccinated. On March 1, food processing workers and migrant and seasonal farm workers became eligible for vaccination. Employers and individuals are encouraged to contact their local health department to determine if their county has made the vaccine available to additional categories of individuals. For example, in Detroit, restaurant and grocery store employees are eligible.
Latest Distribution and Administration Numbers
As of today, 68.2 million doses have been administered which is an increase of over 10 million from last week. In the last week, an average of 1.3 million doses per day were administered which is consistent with last week despite the severe weather seen in manty parts of the country.
Here in Michigan, over 3 million doses have been distributed which is an increase of 400,000 from last week. If that pace continues, Michigan will have access to enough vaccines to reach its goal of vaccinating 50,000 people per week. In fact, a little over 400,000 Michiganders were vaccinated last week exceeding the state’s goal of vaccinating 50,000 people per week. Michigan has now administered more than 2.4 million doses of the vaccine which is almost 30% of persons over the age of 16.