Georgia Public Health to begin offering updated COVID-19 booster vaccineRN Eareina Black draws up a dose of pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a free vaccination clinic for 5 to 11-year-olds at the City Schools of Decatur Central Office board room on Friday, Dec. 10. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Atlanta, GA — The Georgia Department of Public Health will start to offer the new bivalent COVID-19 booster this week, as the department receives shipments of the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend the Pfizer bivalent booster for individuals ages 12 and older, and the Moderna bivalent booster for those 18 and older, according to a press release.
“The current COVID booster doses contain the genetic recipe for the original strain of COVID-19,” the press release states. “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.”
Individuals should wait at least two months after completing their initial vaccination or their last booster dose before getting the bivalent booster.
Currently, the updated vaccine is considered to be only a booster. It is not to be used as the initial two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will still be administered for the primary series of vaccines and as a booster for children under the age of 12.
The state is seeing an average of 3,000 cases of COVID-19 reported a week. Over 89% of newly reported cases are caused by the BA.5 variant. Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID continue to decrease in the state.
DPH continues to encourage people to follow basic prevention measures to help prevent further spread of COVID-19 and mitigate outbreaks of infection — wear a mask, physically distance and wash hands frequently.
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