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Wider vaccination urged as three major respiratory illnesses inch up in Michigan

Man receiving a vaccine.
Marina Andrejchenko - stock.adob
Man receiving a vaccine.

Michigan is starting to see more people getting sick from three major respiratory viruses. State health officials said Michigan is lagging many other states, and has likely not seen "peak" activity yet for COVID, RSV, and influenza.

Officials said that means there's time for unvaccinated people to get up to date with shots, in order to prevent serious illness.

Of the three viruses, COVID-19 is causing the most hospitalizations and deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the updated COVID shot is effective at preventing serious illness.

There's also good vaccine news for RSV infections, which are particularly risky for infants and the elderly. The CDC said the RSV vaccine is very effective in preventing severe disease in the elderly and in infants when given to their moms during pregnancy.

When it comes to influenza, there's more good news. The CDC said the flu shot this year matches closely with the flu variants circulating so far this season, so it is likely to protect people well against severe disease.

State health officials say Michigan's goal is to vaccinate 4 million residents during the 2023-2024 flu season. As of November 18, 2023, there have been 2,215,866 doses administered (55.4% of the goal) for the 2023-2024 flu season.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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