Michigan’s top doctor worries about a holiday COVID-19 surge

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian says COVID fatigue is part of the reason interest in the latest booster shot is low.

N95 face masks stacked on a table

Michigan saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases following the start of the school year and the levels have pretty well held steady since.

In the most recent data released this week, infections dropped by just one percent from the week before – while the number of deaths rose by 21 to a total of 173.

Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian says it’s also the traditional start of respiratory illness season.

“We’re heading into this time where viruses love to circulate,” Bagdasarian says. “Both because of our cold weather and the fact that people are moving indoors for their social gatherings, so have a plan.”

She says that plan should include wearing a mask inside buildings, testing for COVID when one does not feel well and getting both the most recent COVID booster and a flu shot, which she says you can receive in the same appointment.

Related: CDC says Southeast Michigan counties are high risk for COVID-19

Bagdasarian says the lack of interest in vaccines is troubling.

“There just has not been a whole lot of excitement and uptake of the new bivalent booster. Which is a shame because we do have some models and predictors that show us that this booster is really our key to protecting people this holiday season.”

There has also been some misinformation about vaccine safety that has played into the hesitancy to get boosted.

“There is misinformation being circulated that the newest vaccine was not tested in humans, which it was certainly tested in humans for safety. And we have data on that, showing that this is a safe vaccine,” Bagdasarian confirms.

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.