DETROIT– Medical leaders from 21 hospital systems signed an open letter to Michigan residents pleading for people to get vaccinated. The letter comes after an increase of COVID-19 cases across the state, which leaders warn could turn into a fourth wave.
“Chief medical officers and chief nursing officers across the state are coming together because we cannot stand to see any more preventable deaths,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, MHSA, Chief Clinical Officer at Trinity Health Michigan. “Vaccination is proving to be our best path out of the pandemic, and now have a fully approved COVID-19 vaccine that can prevent serious illness and death. As leaders of healthcare teams that have been on the frontlines of this pandemic, we are asking that Michigan residents get vaccinated to stop putting patients, health care workers and their neighbors at risk.”
Across the United States, approximately 99% of individuals dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. These deaths are preventable, put vulnerable populations at risk, and continue to strain local businesses and economies. There is added concern as children return to school and pediatric intensive care units begin seeing a surge in infected patients.
“Thousands of nurses across the state, working inside emergency rooms to intensive care units, are being called on once again to care for rising numbers of COVID-infected patients,” said Barbara W. Rossmann, MS, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at Henry Ford Health System. “Stopping this surge is within our control, which is why we’re coming together to urge unvaccinated Michiganders to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe, and it is effective.”
As Michigan hospitals brace for what could be a fall surge, more than 1,000 individuals are currently hospitalized. As with previous surges, staff are straining to care for preventable COVID-19 infections in addition to the high volume of emergency care, surgeries, rehab, and other services. This has a cascading negative impact on local healthcare systems and patients.
As the leaders of organizations that treat and advise Michigan patients across the state, the letter ends with the signers asking Michigan residents to, “Please trust us now when we guide you to get this vaccine.” To locate a vaccination site, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus.