Dr. Marc McClelland, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, called Monday a “day of hope.”
Some 249 days after the first two coronavirus cases were reported in Michigan on March 10, McClelland became one of the first health care workers in the state to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a great day for our families, frontline workers, small businesses, and Michigan as a whole,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Here, in the state built on innovation and grit, a safe and effective COVID vaccine is being manufactured by Michigan workers at a Michigan business. Our frontline essential hospital workers have gone above and beyond to save lives – including stepping up today to receive vaccines.”
The vaccinations took place at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor and Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. McClelland along with others took the vaccine that is being produced at Pfizer’s plant in Portage. Hospitals in Michigan and throughout the country are expected to begin vaccinating health care staff as early as this week.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that 437,985 state residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 10,752 have died from the virus. Whitmer thanked the state’s hospital and other health care workers for “tireless dedication, bravery and strength” in caring for the tens of thousands of residents who have fought the virus – and for being first-in-line for vaccinations.
“The significant impact of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented, worldwide collaboration among scientists, medical doctors, health and government officials, and manufacturers,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, DHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “The arrival of this vaccine in Michigan signals that the end of this pandemic is near.”
Khaldun, however, pointed out it will take several months before enough vaccines can be widely distributed to the general population.
A set of questions and answers about COVID-19 can be found here.