Gov. Gretchen Whitmer got her first COVID-19 vaccine shot Tuesday, touting it as the most effective way to protect people and to return Michigan to normalcy.
The governor, 49, was vaccinated at Ford Field’s mass clinic alongside her 19-year-old daughter, Sherry, and other teens a day after eligibility expanded to everyone ages 16 and older. Whitmer said she was grateful and urged parents to ensure their high school- and college-age kids are inoculated, too.
The state is facing the country’s highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, which the Democratic governor — who does not plan to tighten restrictions — blames on pandemic fatigue, noncompliance with safety rules, residents’ increased movement and more contagious variants.
The seven-day case average, nearly 6,000 a day, was at similar levels to nearly four months ago. The average positivity rate, 15.7%, has not been higher since almost a year ago, when many people could not get tested.
Case rates are especially inflated in the Thumb region, Macomb County near Detroit, the Gaylord area, and counties south and east of Lansing.
“I feel good. I feel relieved to be honest,” Whitmer told reporters after receiving a dose of the Pfizer vaccine from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. The governor’s younger daughter was vaccinated weeks ago because she has asthma.