A Delta surge would be devastating

New data modeling shows what the spring surge might have looked like had the Delta variant gotten here earlier.

The spring surge of the pandemic in Michigan was truly awful. Thousands of people died. Tens of thousands were hospitalized. But it could have been a whole lot worse.

A new report from the state shows what might have happened if the Delta variant of the coronavirus had been in circulation in March.

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The Delta variant is one of the most worrisome variants being tracked by health officials in the United States. It is estimated to be significantly more transmissible than other versions of the coronavirus and was discovered in Kalamazoo County earlier this week.

Data modeled by state researchers suggests that Michigan could have seen more than 13,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in mid-March had the Delta variant been the dominant strain. That’s nearly double what the actual numbers were at the time.

That’s partly because only about 15% of the population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at that point. That rate has since risen to 52%.

Health experts say two doses of one of the mRNA vaccines is 83% effective at preventing infection from the Delta variant. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines.

However, one shot of an mRNA vaccine doesn’t do much. Experts say a single shot only provides 33% protection – underscoring the need for people to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

You can see the full report here.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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