Gov. Whitmer and her teenage daughter get COVID-19 vaccine in Detroit

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gets the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan's...
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gets the COVID-19 vaccine from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan's chief medical executive.(source: WJRT)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 11:52 AM EDT
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DETROIT, Mich. (WJRT) - With COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opened to all adults age 16 and older in Michigan this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her oldest daughter received their first doses at Ford Field in Detroit on Tuesday.

The home of the Detroit Lions has been transformed into a massive community vaccination clinic with the capacity to administer 6,000 doses of vaccine every day. FEMA is partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Meijer and other organizations to operate the clinic.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan’s chief medical executive, administered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to Whitmer and the governor’s 19-year-old daughter on an upper level area of the stadium Tuesday morning.

“This is another great moment -- our ability to vaccinate more and more Michiganders and protect people’s lives and get back to normal, which I know is a goal we all share,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer called the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines approved for emergency use the United States “miracles of science.” She said the vaccines are more effective than the annual flu vaccines and the most effective way to protect each other from COVID-19 and get life back to normal.

“So it’s essential that we all get vaccinated, so we can get back normalcy, so we can hug one another, we can get back to work, we can make sure our kids can stay in school and able to play sports and be together again,” Whitmer said.

Khaldun said the vaccines are more than 95% effective, which far exceeds the goal health experts hoped to see while the vaccines were in development last year. While there’s a remote possibility of people who get the vaccine to still get COVID-19, she said their chances of becoming seriously ill or dying from the illness are reduced.

“It is not a failure at all if someone does get COVID-19 after they’ve had the vaccine,” Khaldun said. “They’re likely going to be not as sick and they’re likely not going to pass it along to other people, who can also get very sick. So these vaccines are some of the best public health measures that we have.”

ABC12 Digital Desk UPDATE

LIVE: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gets vaccinated at mass clinic at Detroit's Ford Field

Posted by ABC12: First In-Depth Everywhere WJRT-TV on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Whitmer said the 15-minute waiting areas where people go after receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine “are some of the most optimistic places in the world.”

“The tears of joy that people feel, relief, sitting in that area waiting -- nobody likes to wait, but it is a joyful experience from what I’m told,” Whitmer said.

She encouraged parents to bring their high school and college students age 16 and up with them to get the vaccine together. Both of Whitmer’s daughters now have received the vaccine.

“As parents, it’s important that we not only model, but we help our kids to be safe too,” she said.

As of Tuesday, more than 165 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the United States to about 1 in 3 Americans. That includes about 4.7 million doses administered in Michigan to nearly 3 million people.

Khaldun said 36% of Michiganders age 16 and older and 68% of residents age 65 or older have received at least one dose of vaccine.

“There is light at the end of this tunnel, but we are sober about the fact that we are still very much in this tunnel,” Whitmer said. “The only way out is if we all work together and everyone does their part.”

She called on everyone to continue wearing face coverings, social distancing and washing hands frequently as Michigan’s key COVID-19 statistics continue climbing.

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