Whitmer asks White House about extra vaccines for hot spots

LANSING (AP) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked the White House on Tuesday if it would consider sending additional COVID-19 vaccines to states, including Michigan, that face surging coronavirus cases.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients responded that U.S. officials were thinking through how to address hot spots. Everything was on the table, he said, pledging to "support you as you face a difficult situation in Michigan," according to a readout of a conference call provided by the office of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Whitmer was among seven governors who participated in the meeting hosted by the White House and the National Governors Association.

Michigan had the country's second-highest per-capita case rate over the past week, trailing only New York. The seven-day daily average was 5,157 on Sunday, more than double from 2,223 two weeks earlier.

Starting next Monday, all people ages 16 and older in Michigan will be eligible for the vaccine. Whitmer is encouraging providers to prioritize the most vulnerable, including seniors and those with disabilities, but says they should vaccinate residents ages 16 through 49 now if there are unfilled appointments.