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Vaccinating Ohio: Michigan becoming COVID-19 epicenter; Ohio is on alert

At this point, there is no plan for Ohio to provide any of its doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Michigan.

CLEVELAND — Michigan is ground zero for a significant rise in COVID-19 infections in the nation, but the federal government says it's past the point of trying to vaccinate their way out of it, so they won't be sending additional doses to Ohio's neighbor. 

The CDC says there's only one way to get it under control.

“Really what we need to do in those situations is shut things down, I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what’s happening in Michigan we would be disappointed that it would take so long for the vaccine to work,” said CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

RELATED: CDC chief urges Michigan to 'close things down' amid spike

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer blames the surge on more contagious variants, youth sports and those who are not following safety protocol and at this time has no plan to shut things down.

"I believe government’s role is when we can’t take action to protect ourselves, government must step in. That’s where we were a year ago, we’re in a different moment, every one of us has the ability and knowledge to do what it takes and it’s on all of us. That’s why we are imploring people to take this seriously," said Whitmer.

Meanwhile Ohio is being proactive. The Governor's office told 3News last week 5,000 additional doses went to Lucas and Cuyahoga Counties and will send extra this week too. 

Walensky said vaccination won't work in Michigan because it will take two to six weeks to have an impact. But it may help protect Ohioans.

We also asked if Ohio plans to share any doses with Michigan and in an email, a spokewoman said:

State allocations are made at the federal level to states based on federal allocation formulas. As such, Ohio does not plan on transferring any of its doses out-of-state at this time.” 

University Hospitals Infectious disease physician Dr. Keith Armitage says locally we are seeing a steady flow of cases, but Michigan's status is a wake-up call.

“The virus really spreads indoors, unmasked with people we don't normally associate with,” said Dr. Armitage. “Until we really this under control and we aren't there yet, even without the Michigan situation, we need to do that.”

Dr. Armitage said vaccines are proving effective in Northeast Ohio.

“The one thing we are seeing in our hospitals…we are seeing very very few admissions of people who are vaccinated, almost none,” said Dr. Armitage.

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