Nov 21, 2022 - COVID

Low bivalent booster turnout

Booster COVID vaccine doses administered in Michigan
Data: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Interest is lagging in COVID-19 vaccines — particularly this fall's new bivalent booster shot.

Why it matters: The latest booster from Pfizer and Moderna that rolled out starting in September for those 5 and up targets newer strains of the virus.

  • Cases, hospitalizations and deaths tend to rise in the winter.

By the numbers: 81% of Americans have at least one COVID vaccine dose, but just 11% of those qualifying have gotten the bivalent shot as of last Wednesday, CDC data shows.

  • Michigan tracks a little higher than the United States: About 1.2 million residents, or 13% of those over 5, have received a bivalent shot, according to the state.
  • But just 64% of Michiganders have at least one original COVID vaccine dose.

Between the lines: The original booster's per-week dose administration peaked at 238,280 in Michigan last December, while state data shows bivalent doses peaked at 144,464 in a week this October.

  • "These numbers may seem low, but remember that you have to have completed a primary series to be eligible for a new booster and be two months out from your latest COVID-19 vaccine," a state spokesperson tells Axios.

What they're saying: "The people who want to get the new bivalent booster have received it," Dennis Cunningham, director of infection control and prevention for Henry Ford Health, tells Axios. "My perspective is people are losing interest in the vaccines."

The big picture: Flu season and RSV, a respiratory illness that can be serious in children, have also hit the nation hard this year, worrying public health experts, including in Detroit.

  • Find out here where to get vaccinated.
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