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COVID-19 cases jump in Michigan as Moderna asks FDA to authorize second booster

Moderna Vaccine
Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 18:44:44-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan had reported 2,770 new cases of COVID-19 in the last two days. What’s behind the sudden jump in numbers?

There are likely several factors contributing to the jump in numbers. We know that omicron’s sub-variant BA.2 is spreading here in Michigan. It now makes up roughly a quarter of all new cases in the U.S.

Data has also shown that BA.2 is roughly 30% more transmissible than previous variants. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, recently said he expects BA.2 to become the dominant strain in the U.S. Cases will most likely start to increase within the month.

Of course, we also have waning immunity with our vaccines, especially for those who have not yet been boosted. Then, you also have human behavior. Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed its mask recommendations, many people are no longer wearing them. They feel that their risk of getting infected is low. So, you can see how the virus can easily thrive when you combine these factors together.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a second COVID-19 booster shot. But there are differences between the two drugmakers' requests.

Pfizer is seeking approval for a second booster dose for seniors aged 65 and up, whereas Moderna is seeking approval for all adults aged 18 and up. The reason behind Moderna's broader request is so that the CDC and health care providers have more flexibility.

Now that sounds great, but what does it mean?

Well, we know that age is the most substantial risk factor when it comes to developing severe COVID-19 disease. Research has also shown that it's not just older people who are at high risk, but also people who have underlying medical conditions like obesity, diabetes and cancer.

So Moderna's request allows the CDC "to determine the appropriate use of an additional booster dose of mRNA-1273, including for those at higher risk of COVID-19."

With the number of COVID-19 cases now rising in Michigan, I am concerned that too many people have let their guard down. I know people want to think that omicron is milder, but it's still deadly, especially to those who are unvaccinated.

So, if you've held out on getting fully vaccinated or boosted, keep in mind the virus is not going away. Instead, it's getting more and more infectious. Once again, I strongly support getting vaccinated and boosted.