New Bivalent Covid-19 boosters offer ‘enhanced protection,’ officials say
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) officials announced they will offer the new bivalent COVID-19 booster this week, as shipments of the vaccine arrive in Georgia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend the bivalent booster manufactured by Pfizer for people ages 12 and older; and officials recommend the bivalent booster by Moderna for adults aged 18 and older.
Top health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci encouraged people to get this new vaccine booster as soon as they can for optimal protection against the omicron variant.
According to officials, the current COVID booster doses “contain the genetic recipe for the original strain of COVID-19. The bivalent vaccine contains the genetic recipes for two versions of COVID-19; the original strain, plus the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, offering better protection. People should wait at least two months after completing their initial vaccination or their last booster shot before getting the bivalent booster.”
A weekly average of 3,000 cases of COVID-19 is currently being reported in Georgia; more than 89 % of newly reported cases “are caused by the BA.5 variant.” Officials add that hospitalizations and deaths have steadily decreased across Georgia.
The White House COVID-19 Response Team and federal public health officials lauded a new vaccine booster last week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended actions based on the High level are to:
- Wear a mask indoors in public
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Get tested if you have symptoms
- Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness
How are COVID-19 Community Levels calculated? COVID-19 Community Levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.
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