Dept. of Public Health promising better protection with new COVID-19 booster

DPH has been giving the vaccine for 1 week.
DPH has been giving the vaccine for 1 week.(WALB)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -The Department of Public health (DPH) is promising better protection when it comes to COVID-19, in the form of a new bivalent booster.

The Bi-valent COVID-19 vaccine is the newest booster DPH is giving. It’s been out for about a week, and DPH said the turnout for people getting it has been low.

The Southwest Georgia Health district serves 14 counties. Since the booster has been available for about a week now, almost 70 people have gotten the vaccine. 10 of those were given in Dougherty County.

Dr. Charles Ruis, director of the Southwest Health District, said they’re hoping that number will grow as more people learn about the vaccine.

“It was a fairly sudden evolution,” said Ruis.

Dr. Charles Ruis is the Southwest Health District Director.
Dr. Charles Ruis is the Southwest Health District Director.(WALB)

The Bi-valent COVID-19 vaccine booster will replace the original Pfizer Booster, but Ruis said this one will give people better protection. That’s where the term “bi-valent” comes in.

“Not only does it have the vaccine for the original version of the virus, but the second ingredient covers the current version of the omicron virus that accounts for 90% of the infections in the community,” said Ruis.

People can get the new booster if they’ve gotten both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of Johnson and Johnson.

They have to be two months out from those vaccines, and they also have to be at least 12 years old.

Anyone under 12 will get the original Pfizer booster.

“With variants that we’ve seen, it turns out that the original vaccine isn’t as effective as they were initially. This is really good news,” said Ruis.

Because the booster is so new, Ruis said they are still learning how long protection lasts. At this point, they’re expecting six months.

If you’d like to get the new booster, you can call the health department in your area or click here.