Whitmer Vaccine 2
Gov. Whitmer


GRAND RAPIDS — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday requesting permission to directly purchase up to 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Whitmer also noted that since she and eight other governors sent a letter to the Trump administration requesting that they distribute the millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses that are currently being held back, she has not received a response.

“We remain ready to accelerate distribution to get doses into arms,” Whitmer said in the letter. “Toward that end, I am writing to request permission for the state of Michigan to make a one-time purchase of up to 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine directly from Pfizer to be distributed and administered consistent with CDC guidelines and the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.”

Last week, governors Whitmer, Gavin Newsom (California), Laura Kelly (Kansas), J.B. Pritzker (Illinois), Tim Walz (Minnesota), Andrew Cuomo (New York), Tony Evers (Wisconsin), Jay Inslee (Washington) and Kate Brown (Oregon) sent a letter to Secretary Azar and Gen. Perna requesting that the federal government distribute the millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses that are currently being held back by the Trump administration.

The federal government currently has upwards of 50 percent of currently produced vaccines held back to guarantee that people can get a second shot. Last week, the incoming Biden administration announced that they will reverse the current administration's policy and release all of the available vaccine doses.

On Monday, Michigan moved into the next phase of vaccine distribution, which includes vaccinating people 65 and older and some frontline workers including first responders, teachers, and child care workers and corrections staff.

As of Jan. 11, the state has distributed 765,900 doses of the vaccine and 222,379 have been administered. According to CDC data, Michigan is in the top 15 states when it comes to vaccine distribution.

Michigan's vaccination phases:

Phase 1A: Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long-term care facilities.

Phase 1B: Persons 65 or older and frontline essential workers in critical infrastructure.

Phase 1C: Individuals 16 or older at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection and some other essential workers whose position impacts life, safety and protection during the COVID-19 response.

Phase 2: Individuals 16 or older.

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