Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

COVID-19 “Virus Is Getting Much Better at Moving from One Person to Another,” Wayne State Researcher Says

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Dr. Paul Kilgore of Wayne State says the vaccines will protect people from the new variants of COVID-19, but expresses caution about the coming fall.

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On Tuesday, with few exceptions, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer removed all remaining capacity restrictions and mask mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Michigan has over 61% of people ages 16 and older vaccinated and declining case rates, some people still worry whether Michigan is reopening prematurely.

[T]he vaccines do work, not only against the original strain, but they are effective against these new variants that we’re hearing about.” —Dr. Paul Kilgore, Wayne State University

Meanwhile, the delta variant is becoming more and more dominant, leaving many to wonder if they should be concerned about it and whether the vaccines will protect against these new strains. The delta variant has appeared in Michigan and as of Monday, there have been 25 reported cases.


Listen: Dr. Paul Kilgore encourages people to get vaccinated and give the virus less chance to mutate. 


Guest

Dr. Paul Kilgore is an associate professor and director of research at Wayne State University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Kilgore says he’s happy that Michigan officials are lifting restrictions to transition to post-pandemic life because of the stress alleviation it provides to so many state residents. Yet, he adds he is still worried about the coming fall.

Kilgore believes that the delta variant likely makes up around 10 to 15% of the cases in the nation. “The vaccines do work, not only against the original strain, but they are effective against these new variants that we’re hearing about,” he says. 

Kilgore says the delta variant could be an issue this fall for unvaccinated people, citing hot spots appearing in areas in Texas where there is a lack of vaccination. “The virus is getting much better at moving from one person to another,” he says. “That means that the virus can be transmitted much quicker, much more efficiently. So I’m particularly worried about unvaccinated populations in Detroit … I’m extremely concerned about this coming fall.”

Web post written by Dan Netter

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