DETROIT, MI — Vice President Kamala Harris told a crowd of Detroit residents that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is akin to a Biblical directive to “love thy neighbor” during a visit to Michigan on Monday.
The vice president asked a crowd of Detroit community organizers and front-line health care workers at the TCF Center to knock on doors and have conversations “out of love” with people who are hesitant to get vaccinated. Harris said vaccines led to a dramatic drop in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, but too many people aren’t yet immunized.
“It is time to roll up your sleeves and get the shot,” Harris said. “If you already have, find someone who hasn’t and help them.”
More than 5 million Michigan residents over the age of 16 have received their first dose — representing 62% of the over 16 population. The city of Detroit is lagging behind the state average; only 38% has received one shot.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan warned that the city faces a high risk for COVID-19 outbreaks fueled by the new, more contagious Delta variant.
The Delta variant is now the most common strain in the United States, and comprised 52% of new U.S. cases as of July 3. As of July 7, there had been 53 cases in 15 counties diagnosed in Michigan.
“We are leaving no stone unturned because we know getting vaccinated is the single best defense against COVID-19 and its variants,” Harris said. “Folks, this Delta variant is no joke. Detroit, this Delta variant spreads faster and in many cases reported to be much more serious in terms of its impact. The vaccine will protect you from it.”
Harris said a vast majority of people who are hospitalized or recently died from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. But vaccination rates have slowed in the six months since shots were made available to the public.
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