The following consensus statement is made on behalf of Michigan hospitals and health systems.
Hospitals and health systems across our great state of Michigan have banded together like never before for more than a year to combat the spread of COVID-19. Our healthcare workers have sacrificed their time, energy and health, all in the pursuit of protecting the communities we serve. Together, we have learned about this disease, how to treat it, and now, how we can prevent it.
The COVID-19 delta variant now accounts for more than half of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States. This means there is increased urgency to vaccinate our communities. The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus worldwide. It spreads about 225% faster than the original version of the virus and replicates at much higher levels inside the respiratory tract. New studies indicate the available vaccines are effective against the delta variant and could prevent the loss of thousands more loved ones. The vaccines are our best defense against this variant and the likelihood of future variants emerging. The vaccines are essential for us to stop COVID-19 and its future mutations.
We agree with the science and facts related to the vaccines and their effectiveness. As health organizations that care about the health of our teams and our communities, we support the science. We strongly recommend vaccination for everyone eligible. Further, we encourage people to have a conversation with their trusted healthcare provider if they have questions or concerns about the vaccine.
To date, more than 4.6 million Michiganders and more than 165 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective, and their ability to save lives is evident.
The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk for hospitalization and death by more than 95%. Currently more than 99% of all deaths from COVID-19 infection are in unvaccinated persons. Vaccination also substantially reduces the risk of long-haul symptoms from COVID-19; approximately 20% to 30% of people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 will develop at least one long-haul symptom.
We have an opportunity to make a difference in this public health crisis. Together our actions will serve the public good, save lives and shorten the health and economic impact of the pandemic. Our dedication to caring for our communities starts long before its members become our patients. As health providers, and members of your community, we want to you stay healthy. The vaccine is safe and effective. The Michigan Health & Hospital Association and our member hospitals and health systems urge you not to wait; get vaccinated now.