Leelanau News and Events

Omicron Variant Officially Detected In Leelanau County; Booster Shots Timeline Shortened

Jan. 11, 2022

On Monday (Jan. 10) the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in one Leelanau County resident. The resident was tested on December 28, 2021. Determining which variant is present in an individual’s test sample requires genetic sequencing, which is only conducted on a percentage of positive tests and can often take a few weeks. Health department officials anticipate there are many more cases of Omicron present in their jurisdiction.

The FDA recently shortened the time between the completion of a primary series of the Moderna vaccines for anyone 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 12 and older can receive their booster shot to five months. The move comes as the country is in the middle of a surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which spreads more rapidly than the original SARS-CoV02 virus and other variants that have emerged.

“Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19 and its variants so shortening the length of time between completion of the primary series and the booster dose for both Pfizer and Moderna is very helpful in our quest to say safe and healthy,” said Dr. Josh Meyerson, Medical Director for the health department. “I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and also get their booster shot, which is very important to receive due to the Omicron variant,” Meyerson added.

Omicron is known to be more transmissible than previous variants. While symptoms related to the Omicron variant may be mild, symptoms to watch for include runny nose/congestion, fever or chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.


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