By Mike Kruzman /

On the one-year anniversary of the COVID vaccine being first administered in Michigan, the state health department continues to stress the safety and effectiveness of shots.

The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered to health care professionals a year ago Tuesday, and since then, more than 6 million Michiganders ages 5 and up have received at least one dose.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that the state reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population 16 and older last month. However, they report that the unvaccinated still remain disproportionately affected by the virus. In the last 30 days of complete data, 71% of reported cases, 72% of hospitalizations, and 76% of deaths were among those not vaccinated. In that recording period from October 21st to November 19th, the Livingston County Health Department’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows there were roughly 4,100 cases locally in that time, hitting weekly peak totals that topped previous pandemic highs from November 2020 and April 2021.

Hospitals are being stretched beyond their limits, with MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Natasha Bagdasarian stating that the strain of unvaccinated population on the health care system is an absolute crisis. She says, “the solution is simple,” in that they must continue to vaccinate as many residents as they can.

Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Hospital Association said, in a release from the MDHHS, “The data is clear: vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness” and are a powerful tool in reducing the strain on the healthcare system. He encourages everyone to get vaccinated, have your children vaccinated, and receive a booster when eligible.

Pictured - St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital nurse receiving COVID vaccine on 12/23/20