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Biden plan would reduce MI vaccines while state tries to boost interest in getting shots

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Spectrum Health
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A new federal policy announced today by the White House could send some COVID-19 vaccines earmarked for Michigan to other states where the demand is greater.

The re-targeted deliveries are part of a federal effort to get the most vaccine doses to where they’ll be used. After an initial surge in vaccinations, people aren’t lining up in the same numbers. Part of that is because the people who were the most willing were the first in line.

“We did not order our full allocation,” said Lynn Sutfin with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “That’s because there has been a change in the supply-demand for vaccines nationally and in Michigan recently.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer last month publicly but unsuccessfully pressed President Joe Biden for more vaccine doses to combat a surge in cases in the state.

Michigan’s weekly allocation based on population is 281,890 doses. But its most recent order is for 140,050.

The state is trying now to persuade more reluctant people to get the vaccine. If that’s a success, the state can increase its orders to get more of what’s earmarked for Michigan.

The president set a goal Tuesday of getting 70 percent of US residents aged 16 older vaccinated before July 4.

Whitmer set the same goal earlier this week as a condition for relaxing COVID restrictions in the state.

“So far, Michigan has administered over 7 million doses to more than 50 percent of Michiganders 16 and up,” she said in a statement released by her office, “but to reach the 70 percent target, we will all have to do our part. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to get your COVID-19 vaccine.”