By Jessica Mathews /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials are urging primary care physicians to enroll to administer COVID-19 vaccines, as the state prepares to quickly begin vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds following U.S. authorization.

Whitmer provided an update Wednesday on COVID-19 vaccinations and cases and potential changes in the state’s epidemic order. She said the state has bent the curve as vaccinations are up and cases and hospitalizations are down – noting nearly 7.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered. Over 55% of Michiganders have received their first shot and over 40% are fully vaccinated – including 70% of seniors. The Pfizer vaccine has also now been authorized for those age 12 to 15.

Under the Governor’s “Mi Vacc To Normal” challenge, the goal remains to have 70% of the 8 million Michiganders age 16 and up – which is around 5.7 million people. There are four milestones identified under the plan to return to the old normal. Whitmer said the plan charts the state’s path out of the pandemic with specific metrics and accompanying action and as the vaccinated populations grows, then they can take more steps to lift restrictions.

The first step was achieved recently after the state hit the 55% vaccination mark, thus Whitmer said on Monday, May 24th it’s anticipated that MIOSHA will take action to permit all workplaces to return to in-person work. The next step occurs after 60% vaccination is reached, which would lift curfews on restaurants and bars and increase capacity limits at places like sports stadiums, banquet halls, and funeral homes.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun encouraged doctors to check if their patients have been vaccinated and if they have any questions. The push to make doses available in physicians’ offices will complement the state’s focus on taking mobile clinics to places such as churches and vaccinating people who are homebound.