News Story

Whitmer Hints She Won’t Lift State Of Emergency Until Coronavirus Vaccine Available

That could mean another two years or longer of lockdowns and restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted in a Sept. 9 interview that she intends to keep Michigan under a declared state of emergency until a coronavirus vaccine is available, which may take years.

Whitmer made the comment at an event held by the Detroit Regional Chamber Chamber of Commerce.

“I do think that until there are approved vaccines that are safe that can be mass manufactured and distributed, we’re gonna have to continue to be smart, follow the science and take precautions,” Whitmer said. “I would like to tell you precisely where I think we are. Are we 50% of the way? Are we 33 are we 70? I can’t put a number on it because a lot of it depends on how quickly this vaccine creation happens and distribution.”

Historically, it has taken years – not months – for vaccines to be developed in response to an epidemic.

In an Aug. 19 press conference, Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, spoke about how long vaccines take.

“I also want to briefly touch on vaccines. We are all hoping for a safe and effective vaccine that will protect us from COVID-19 and allow our communities to get back to some sense of normalcy. So vaccines typically take anywhere between 10 to 15 years to develop and approve through four phases of trials,” Khaldun said.

The Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research stated in July that a vaccine for the coronavirus may not be be available until summer 2022.

“Don’t rely on a vaccine; it’s still a long way off,” read an op-ed published by the Goodman Institute, which was written by Hoover Institution researcher David Henderson and Charles Hooper, a pharmaceutical company consultant and president of Objective Insights. “The fastest vaccine development in history was four years for Merck’s MumpsVax in the 1960s. Even if a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 could be developed in half that time, we are still looking at the summer of 2022 before the vaccine would be developed, approved, manufactured, and distributed for widespread use.”