And there are several reasons behind the crisis.
“One, we believe the overall infection rate in Michigan was lowest during the pandemic to date,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox told CNN on Saturday. “Second, Michigan recently opened … with several orders that have been released. “
“Unfortunately, I think people have given up their infection control problems, they don’t wear their masks as much as they should, social distancing, hand hygiene,” Fox added.
And with a large portion of the older population vaccinated against the virus, the variant has hit younger groups hard.
“It’s really showing up in all of our emergency rooms and, frankly, in our inpatient units,” Fox said. “We’re treating patients younger than ever,” Fox said.
CNN emergency physician and medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen says she is concerned about what this could mean for Michigan and the United States.
Almost a quarter of all Americans are fully vaccinated
In the race to vaccinate as many Americans as possible, another important milestone: The United States is approaching a quarter of fully vaccinated Americans.
“I’m glad that the hiatus is coming because it really illustrates that our system is working, that our federal health officials are prioritizing safety more than anything else,” Wen told CNN on Saturday. “If they’re willing to take a break from something that’s less than one in a million, we should be really cool about their commitment to safety.”
The other two Covid-19 vaccines that also received the green light in the US, Pfizer and Moderna, are not involved in the hiatus. And in the coming weeks, continuing the important message about their safety, Wen said, and why Covid-19 vaccines remain critical will be key.
“We are doing this because we have a pandemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives here in the United States,” Wen added.
During a Covid-19 briefing at the White House on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said officials recognize the importance of moving quickly with the J&J vaccine on hiatus.
“What I would tell the American people is that what we find are really extremely rare cases through our vaccine safety monitoring system. And that we are transparent: this Friday meeting will be public, people can call, we are transparently conveying that science, “Walensky said.
Officials have also reached out to thousands of providers to inform them of the types of cases they should be looking for, he said.
“And we want to convey to the American public: We have two vaccines that are available, Pfizer and Moderna, and people must continue to roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated,” Walensky added.
CNN’s Michael Nedelman, Jen Christensen, Maggie Fox, Virginia Langmaid, and Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.