"When you have an acute situation — extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan — the answer is not necessarily to give vaccines," Walensky said during a White House briefing on Monday. "In fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response. The answer to that is to really close things down."
She added, "If we try to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we would be disappointed."Sending vaccines to Michigan would be akin to playing a giant game of Whack-a-Mole.
"We need that vaccine in other places, she said. "If we vaccinate today, we will have impact in six weeks and we don't where the next place is going to be that is going to surge."
But even if Whitmer was able to increase the number of vaccinations from 100,000 a day to 200,000, it would still take 57 days to reach herd immunity, according to El-Sayed's breakdown of the math. That's because the CDC called for a pause on the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Monday to review data after a small number of people developed blood clots, meaning we would have to use the two-dose Pfizer shots — which require 21 days between doses. It also takes an additional 10 days after the second dose to develop the antibodies.
That also assumes everyone who was eligible was willing and able to get vaccinated, but vaccine hesitancy remains a problem, fueled by mistrust of government and misinformation.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, said in a Friday news conference that the surge was on track to be "even greater than the one we saw in the fall."
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