LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s four-phase “MI Vacc to Normal Plan” does not include benchmarks for people who have recovered from COVID-19.
Lynn Suftin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said, “There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity,” Suftin said.
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She went on to say that evidence “suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long. For this reason, people who have already had the virus but haven’t been vaccinated aren’t included in the calculations,” Suftin said. She did not specify the source of this evidence.
Gov. Whitmer is pushing all eligible Michiganders to be vaccinated in order to fully reopen the state. The “MI Vacc to Normal” plan’s eventual goal to is to have 70 percent of the state vaccinated, or 5,667,842 residents. Once that benchmark, plus two additional weeks, is achieved, Gov. Whitmer said mask mandates and restrictions on gatherings will be lifted.
This plan does include a loophole, stating that even once the state reaches herd immunity, the MDHHS “will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.”
Suftin echoed Whitmer’s pleas from a press conference last week. “We are confident Michiganders will make the choice to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities,” Suftin said.