Johnson calls on Whitmer, DHHS director to take action to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Friday called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon to fix the state’s poor rate of getting the COVID-19 vaccines to Michigan residents.

“Gov. Whitmer and Director Gordon are failing to get the COVID-19 vaccine to Michigan families to protect them from the virus. We have received over 725,000 doses of the vaccines, but the vast majority of them are still sitting in storage,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “That’s simply unacceptable. We have large amounts of unused vaccine, the Legislature has provided $56 million to help with the vaccine efforts, and officials have had months to prepare — yet our COVID-19 vaccination rate ranks among the nation’s worst. We deserve answers, and the people deserve action.”

As of Jan. 7, Michigan ranked 39th in the country in terms of the number of people administered the vaccines per capita, according to data tracking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The DHHS is in charge of the vaccine in Michigan. According to its online COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, the state has distributed 725,850 COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 6, but only 174,749 doses have been administered.

“It is good news that Michigan will soon begin issuing the vaccines to additional seniors and to teachers and first responders, but we have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the country,” Johnson said. “Improving the state’s vaccination efforts will save lives and enable people to return to work and a normal sense of life.”