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Vaccine Tracker: Indian COVID-19 variant is now in Michigan

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - On this edition of the Vaccine Tracker, we’re looking at the spike in cases in Indiana and Michigan as we continue to work toward herd immunity with the vaccine. Michigan is seeing their first case of a COVID-19 variant out of India; a country currently being ravaged by the virus.

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/india-s-covid-crisis-creates-shortages-of-basic-supplies-111113797902

This is the definition of herd immunity from Oxford Languages Dictionary: resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination.

Here is the progress we are making county-by-county here in Michiana, these numbers are derived from the Indiana State Department of Health’s website:

Michiana fully vaccinated by county 4-30-21
Michiana fully vaccinated by county 4-30-21

We continue to see high daily case rates in both Indiana and Michigan. The latest numbers can be found on both state dashboards for tracking cases:

https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163_98173---,00.html

https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm

Nurses I spoke with today say the spike in cases is a cause for concern, but they’re well-prepared as they have been stretched thin several times during the past year.

“Now that we’re getting this uptick in patients that are coming back in for COVID, we’re ready to spring into action. We’re ready to bring in those extra nurses and extra staff in. The rooms are already equipped. We already have a plan moving forward that we didn’t have previously. So, I think we’re going to be more prepared,” Michelle Robinson RN says. She works at Goshen Hospital on the Med-Surg Floor.

We’re also hearing from healthcare professionals on the concern about the variants spreading in Michigan. This week Michigan reports the first case of the B.1.617 Indian variant.

https://www.clickondetroit.com/health/good-health/2021/04/30/michigan-confirms-first-case-of-another-new-covid-variant-this-one-from-india/

“What’s happening in Michigan today could easily be happening here tomorrow. Just a few months ago in India they thought they were past the worst of it and unfortunately the last several weeks we’ve seen the pandemic reach new levels there and really collapse their health systems,” Alex Perkins, Notre Dame Associate Professor Epidemiology says. “So, we can’t take anything for granted at all and the only sure bet or the closest thing to a sure bet is to achieve high levels of vaccine derived immunity, which that is really going to lower the ceiling on what could happen going forward in terms of how bad the pandemic could be.”

On the vaccine hesitancy front, the professor also weighing in on whether or not a person needs to get vaccinated if they have already had COVID-19.

“People that have experienced COVID already, they should most likely already have some protection from future  infection, although that protection is certainly not absolute. Evidence is pretty clear that whatever protection they have now will only be boosted and prolonged by getting vaccinated. So if you’ve had COVID and you don’t want to get it again and if you want to make the community safer in-general, please go ahead and just get vaccinated like anyone else,” Perkins adds.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the vaccination rollout, and I want to hear from you. Email me at zach.horner@wndu.com or find me on Facebook and send a message if you have an issue or idea of something we can dig into on the Vaccine Tracker.

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