And there are several reasons for the crisis.
“First, we think the overall infection rate in Michigan has been lower so far during the pandemic,” John Fox, CEO of Beaumont Health, said on CNN Saturday. “Second, Michigan recently opened … with several orders being fulfilled.”
“Unfortunately, I think people have dropped their infection control issues, they don’t wear their masks as often as they should, social aloofness, hand hygiene,” Fox added.
And with much of the older population vaccinated against the virus, the variant has hit younger groups hard.
“It’s really present in all of our ERs and frankly in our clinical units,” Fox said. “We’re treating younger patients than we’ve ever seen,” said Fox.
Emergency physician and CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen says she is concerned about what this could mean for Michigan and the US.
Nearly a quarter of all Americans are fully vaccinated
In the race to vaccinate as many Americans as possible, another major milestone: the US is approaching a quarter of fully vaccinated Americans.
“I’m glad the hiatus is coming because it really illustrates that our system is working, that our federal health officials are prioritizing – more than anything else – safety,” Wen told CNN Saturday. “If they’re willing to take a break at anything less than one in a million, we really need to be reassured about their commitment to safety.”
The other two Covid-19 vaccines that have also received the green light in the US – Pfizer and Moderna – are not involved in the break. And in the coming weeks, it will be critical to continue the important messages about their safety, Wen said, and why Covid-19 vaccinations remain crucial.
“We do this because we have a pandemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives here in the US,” added Wen.
At a Covid-19 White House briefing on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky that officials recognize the importance of acting quickly with the paused J&J vaccine.
“What I’d like to say to the American people is that what we discovered is really extremely rare cases through our vaccine safety monitoring system. And that we’re transparent – this Friday meeting will be public, people can call in – we’re bringing transparency about that science, Walensky said.
Officials have also reached out to thousands of providers to inform them of what kinds of cases they should be looking for, she said.
“And we want to make it clear to the American public: we have two vaccines that are readily available – the Pfizer and the Moderna – and people have to keep rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated,” Walensky added.
CNN’s Michael Nedelman, Jen Christensen, Maggie Fox, Virginia Langmaid and Lauren Mascaren contributed to this report.