COVID-19

3/3/21: State receives first doses of J&J vaccine

New cases decline slightly in the county and state. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have been rising for days.

Vaccines: Just three days after it was given emergency approval by the FDA, 23,100 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s new COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to facilities in Michigan.

The new vaccine requires only one dose to be effective and can be stored much more easily than previous vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

So far, no J&J vaccines have made it to Kalamazoo County. A large number were delivered to Kent and Washtenaw counties, with other deliveries scattered throughout the state.

Despite that, vaccination efforts have really surged in Kalamazoo County. The county health department reported Monday that it had inoculated 6,601 people over the course of last week. That’s more than the previous two weeks combined and a record for the county.

As of Monday, more than 26,000 people have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus in Kalamazoo, with another 18,000 having received their first injections.

The state is seeing similar gains in vaccination efforts. Almost 835,000 people have been fully inoculated in Michigan, with another 634,000 being halfway there.

Michigan: The average of new infections dipped slightly in the state on Tuesday after rising for over a week.

State health officials reported 1,067 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the seven day average down a little to 1,071 new cases per day.

The state also reported 24 new deaths from the coronavirus, with half coming as a result of a review of previous death records. The seven day average held relatively stable at 23 deaths per day.

Worryingly, hospitalizations have been on the rise for several days now.

On Tuesday, 959 people were being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state. That’s 66 more than on Monday and 138 more than last Thursday when numbers started climbing.

Hospitalization numbers is one of the factors considered by state health officials when assessing when new restrictions are needed. However, those same officials just announced a loosening of restrictions.

Kalamazoo County: The average of new cases in the county dropped slightly.

County officials reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That brought the seven day moving average down to just under 32 new cases per day. The average had been mostly rising for two weeks.

The county did not report any new deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday and the average remained at 0.3 deaths per day over the previous week.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.