Yes, current Michigan Covid surge really is 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'

November 18, 2021, 6:51 AM

Safe, effective Covid vaccines have been available in Michigan, free of charge, since early spring. And yet, the state leads the nation in the autumnal surge in cases and hospitalizations. Did something go wrong? Are the vaccines really not effective?

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist got his Covid vaccine earlier this year (File photo)

It's pretty simple, Bridge Michigan reports. Not enough of us are vaccinated, and it's those individuals who are filling hospitals:

That 5.2 million (fully or partially vaccinated) figure sounds big, but in a state of just over 10 million people, that still means that 4.8 million are not fully vaccinated. About 530,000 are partially vaccinated.

That’s a lot of unvaccinated people, and Joshua Petrie, an epidemiology professor at the University of Michigan, said it’s not randomly distributed — adults within households are typically all vaccinated or all unvaccinated, he said, and communities have different levels of vaccination rates.

That creates an opening for the delta variant of COVID-19, considered far more contagious than the original strain.

The vaccines aren't perfect; they do allow for so-called breakthrough infections. But vaccinated individuals who contract the disease don't get as sick, and largely avoid serious complications. Ninety percent of current Covid deaths and hospitalizations are among the unvaccinated, state data indicates. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is not expected to order any more restrictions on business or schools, a spokesman said. 

Read more:  Bridge Michigan

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