News Bite

Nearly 40% Of Michigan Population Could Be Immune To COVID

Figure slightly overstated because some who got vaccinations had probably contracted the virus too

Many of the COVID-19 epidemic tracking metrics used in Michigan have been moving strongly in a positive direction as the number of people getting vaccinations accelerates. The figures also suggest that a significant portion of the state population may already be immune to the virus.

Confirmed new cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 are at their lowest levels since last fall as the number who have acquired immunity through vaccination or by having already contracted the virus rises. (Most of the latter were never tested because they had few or no symptoms).

There were 80 new confirmed COVID-19 cases (7-day average) reported on Feb. 4. That’s the lowest since 77 new cases (7-day average) were reported on Sept. 12.

There were 22 COVID deaths reported on Feb. 4, the lowest since the 18 COVID deaths in the state on Oct. 15 (both figures represent seven-day averages).

There were 1,311 individuals hospitalized with COVID in Michigan as of Feb. 4, less than one-third the number on Nov. 30, when 4,274 COVID patients were in hospitals.

While new cases and deaths are plummeting, the number of vaccinations is increasing every day. There were 44,138 people in Michigan who received the COVID vaccination on Feb. 3.

As of Feb. 4 there have been 1.12 million vaccine doses administered in Michigan, which includes the second doses already received by many. The total number who have received at least one dose in Michigan is 773,000.

There have been 617,745 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan as Feb. 5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate for every confirmed case, there are 4.6 cases that go unreported. That CDC estimate would mean about another 2.8 million residents have contracted COVID-19 but never got a confirmed test.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published the results of a study indicating that those who have contracted the virus remain immune for six to nine months. In January, the CDC reported that "getting the virus again (reinfection) is uncommon in the 90 days after the first infection." The CDC added, "In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected."

The combined figures suggest that around 40 percent of Michigan’s 10 million population may now be immune to COVID-19. The figure is overstated by double-counting people who had previously contracted the virus (possibly without knowing it) and now have also received a vaccination.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.