Three-quarters of Michigan’s COVID-19 patients unvaccinated, hospital group says

LANSING, Mich. — About 76% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan amid a record virus surge are unvaccinated, according to data released Thursday from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported there were 4,269 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, a record tally 21 months into Michigan’s fight against the virus.

The state health department and the hospital association said in a statement they are “pleading with residents to get vaccinated for their own health, the safety of Michigan’s health care personnel and to avoid additional strain on health care systems that are already stretched and struggling to respond.”

“The data is clear: If you are unvaccinated, you are risking hospitalization or death,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the health department. “We have a safe and effective vaccine that is quite literally saving lives.

“Michigan residents absolutely need to get vaccinated to keep their loved ones safe this holiday.”

The hospital association found that 76% of COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated, 87% of COVID-19 patients in intensive care were unvaccinated and 88% of COVID-19 ventilator patients were unvaccinated, according to data dated Monday and from most Michigan health systems.

As of Tuesday, 61% of Michigan total population had received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to tracking from the state health department.


Over the last 30 days, 24% of the deaths linked to COVID-19 in Michigan were among people who were fully vaccinated, according state health department data released earlier this week.

In September, unvaccinated individuals had nine times the risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated persons and four times the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated persons, according to the health department’s Tuesday data presentation.

The state is currently experiencing its fourth virus surge. Infections, hospitalizations and the percentage of tests bringing positive results have been trending upward since the summer. But over the last month, the numbers jumped upward more quickly.

More than 18% of Michigan coronavirus tests came back positive last week, the highest weekly rate since early in the pandemic when testing was not as prevalent as currently.

Michigan’s health care systems are stretched beyond their limits, said Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.

“This data confirms what the situation in our hospitals is already telling us: get vaccinated, whether it is your first dose, vaccination for your children or a booster dose,” Peters said.