While recent seven-day averages related to COVID-19-related hospitalizations across the country have held steady, health officials in Michigan have noted an “alarming” increase among unvaccinated people. In the first three weeks of March, officials recorded a 633 percent increase in hospitalizations among adults ages 30 to 39 and an 800 percent increase among those ages 40 to 49.
“Michigan is moving forward to finally defeat the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing vaccination rates, but the war is not over yet,” said Gary Roth, DO, medical officer for the Michigan Hospital and Health Association (MHA ), in a press release. “Now is not the time to lower your guard and risk COVID-19 with the emergence of more contagious variants and the widespread availability of vaccines.”
On Monday, the state opened vaccine eligibility to adults age 50 and older, as well as people age 16 and older who have disabilities or other medical conditions. Caregivers and guardians of eligible individuals age 16 and older can also get the vaccine. The state will open eligibility to all adults beginning April 5.
“My recipe for all Michiganders is to wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and when it’s your turn, get vaccinated,” Roth said. “You should continue to take preventive measures even after you get vaccinated because it takes at least two weeks for full protection from a vaccine to kick in after the last dose and it will take time to vaccinate everyone.”
The data showed a correlation between hospitalization rates and vaccination rates among older populations. Those aged 80 and over had the highest vaccination rate ranging from 40 to 50 percent and also saw the lowest hospitalization rates near 0 percent. Officials said the correlation shows the effectiveness of the vaccines.
“The data also indicates that, although older adults still have a higher risk of hospitalization, the percentage of hospitalized patients under 40 years of age has doubled, showing that adults of any age are vulnerable to complications from the disease,” the release news said.
The state has seen more than 636,600 COVID-19 cases and nearly 16,000 deaths.