New COVID booster offered at all South Health District health departments

The updated boosters fight two strains of the coronavirus — the original strain and the BA.4...
The updated boosters fight two strains of the coronavirus — the original strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 2:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - All South Health District health departments will begin offering Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent boosters on Thursday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend the bivalent booster manufactured by Pfizer for people 12 and older. Health officials also recommend the bivalent booster by Moderna for adults 18 and older.

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 against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants.

Health officials said people should wait at least two months after completing their initial vaccination or their last booster shot before getting the bivalent booster.

Currently, the bivalent vaccine is considered only a booster. It is not to be used as the initial two-dose COVID vaccine.

The monovalent mRNA CVOID-19 vaccines will still be administered for the primary series of vaccines and as a booster for children under the age of 12.

Georgia is currently seeing an average of 3,000 cases of COVID reported a week. More than 89% of newly reported COVID cases are caused by the BA.5 variant.

Health officials added that hospitalizations and deaths from COVID continue to decrease in the state.

In addition to vaccination and boosters, it’s advised that basic prevention measures like wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands frequently should also be followed to help prevent further spread of COVID and lessen outbreaks of infection, especially in public settings.