Wayne County health officials say research to date indicates that COVID-19 vaccines currently being given will be effective in providing immunity against the virus variant now present in the county.
Vaccines currently being distributed should be able to provide immunity from the 126.96.36.199, or so-called U.K. variant, currently detected in four Wayne County residents, county COVID-19 strategist Dr. Mouhanad Hammami said Jan. 26 in a meeting with members of the Wayne County Commission Committee on Health & Human Services.
In a press release, Moderna stated its vaccine should be effective against new strains but the company is testing a booster shot as a precaution after results from another strain found in South Africa indicated that the antibody response could be reduced.
Those in Wayne County with the 188.8.131.52 variant are in quarantine, Hammami said, while the county is conducting contact tracing. It has been referred to as the U.K. variant because it was first detected in the United Kingdom.
In other COVID-19 updates:
• Teachers in Wayne County schools remain in line to receive vaccines, but must await word from their district on when they will receive them.
Wayne County school districts have worked with health officials and RESA, the county’s intermediate school district, on a vaccination plan for teachers and school staff in public, private and charter schools, Hammami said.
Teachers and school staff who do not deal with students with serious medical issues are strongly discouraged from showing up at county vaccination clinics, which are currently unprepared to handle them.
• Seniors 65 and older continue to be advised to register with their hospital system or Meijer pharmacy. Information on health systems is available on the COVID Resources section at www.waynecounty.com. Registration information for Meijer sites is available at https://clinic.meijer.com/.
• Frontline health care professionals and emergency responders, including police and firefighters, remain the county’s top priority for vaccines.
At present, no troubling vaccine side effects have been reported in Wayne County. All vaccine recipients are monitored for at least 15 minutes, with those with severe allergies monitored for 30 minutes.
Hammami’s presentation can be viewed on the Wayne County Commission Facebook page and YouTube channel. A video of Tuesday’s meeting is also available on the committee page at www.waynecounty.com.
Additional information on COVID-19 is also available by clicking on the COVID-19. Resources section of the county webpage.