"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."
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.