It was a year ago today that the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan. In the last year, 598,968 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Michigan and 15,699 people have died. Worldwide, 117 million people are confirmed to have been infected, and according to Johns Hopkins, more than 2.6 million people have died.

Michigan's top health experts are giving their thoughts. Vaccinations are key to getting life to return to some form of normal, especially with two coronavirus variants now in Michigan – the U.K. version and just this week, the South African variant.

MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun told Fox 17,

"I’m really encouraged that I think in three months anyone who wants to get a vaccine will be able to get one."

Michigan has vaccinated about 18% of our population, but experts say we need 70%-90% for herd immunity. Khaldun said to end the pandemic as quickly as possible, we all have to wear our masks, social distance, and get the vaccine when one becomes available to you.

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has asked residents to leave a porch light on this evening between 8 and 9pm to honor the lives lost from the coronavirus over the past year. Whitmer told MSNBC that the one bright spot on this anniversary is that there are three vaccines fighting it.

“It is really a miracle that we have these kinds of vaccines on the market already just a year into this experience. We have to use every tool in our arsenal.”

 

To see an interactive timeline from the past year from Fox 17, click here.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.