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Additional Covid-19 boosters available for those most at risk 

vaccine

CDC and FDA simplify Covid-19 vaccine schedule, authorize additional boosters for people with immune compromise and adults age 65+

– Adults ages 65 and older and people living with certain immune compromising conditions may now get a second bivalent Covid-19 vaccine (an updated “Omicron booster”) that protects against current variants of Covid-19, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department. The updated vaccine first became available in the fall of 2022.

This change is one of several updates from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to simplify guidance around Covid-19 vaccination and ensure the most effective, current vaccine is widely available. As part of this update, the original (monovalent) vaccine formula has been fully replaced by the updated bivalent formula. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 may now get a single dose of the updated formula rather than a two-part primary series with the original formula.

“Like the flu shot, the bivalent vaccine protects against the strains of Covid-19 we are seeing right now,” said Deputy County Health Officer Dr. Rick Rosen. “Older adults and people with immune compromise are at higher risk for severe Covid-19, and data show the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines can wane over time for this group. A second dose of the updated vaccine offers extra protection from getting seriously ill with Covid-19.”

CDC continues to recommend those who have not received a bivalent booster do so now. Those ages six and older who have received an updated (bivalent) vaccine do not need additional doses unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised. For children under six years of age, recommendations vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received.

Updated vaccines are available from pharmacies, pediatricians, and other doctor’s offices and public health clinics. To schedule an appointment, contact your pharmacy or health care provider, or visit slopublichealth.org/vaccines. It is a good idea to call ahead to confirm vaccine availability.

“We have come a long way since the first vaccines rolled out and are in a much better place today thanks to the protection the vaccines have provided,” said Dr. Rosen. “I encourage all of us to take full advantage of the updated protection available from the bivalent vaccines, so we can keep moving forward from the worst of the pandemic.”

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit slopublichealth.org/COVID19 or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Phone support is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.