Updated COVID boosters coming
People who want better protection against COVID-19 soon will be able to get updated booster shots in Marion County.
New booster shots that deter omicron variants of the virus are expected to arrive this week, health department administrator Krista Schneider said. Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were ordered.
Shots will be given starting Monday.
Outreach clinics are not planned at this time, but could be scheduled later.
“Right now we haven’t had enough interest,” Schneider said.
Patients must already have had two doses of COVID vaccine.
“And they have to be at least two months out,” Schneider said.
The new vaccines provide protection against original versions and newer variants of COVID.
They are designed as a single dose. Moderna is approved for people 18 and older. Pfizer is approved for people 12 and older.
Illness caused by omicron variant is similar to but not identical to that caused by earlier COVID variants but spreads more easily than they do.
People could become infected with omicron even if they already have had COVID or vaccines.
Omicron symptoms generally are less severe, especially if the person was vaccinated. People could have, and spread, the illness without even knowing they have it.
All COVID illnesses, including omicron, may cause cough, fever, and fatigue.
Omicron is less likely to cause pneumonia, but symptoms could be severe in people who have not been vaccinated or boosted.
Some, but not all, antiviral treatments are effective against omicron.
Schneider continues to recommend that people with COVID isolate for at least five days from onset of symptoms. If symptoms are improving and fever has been gone for 24 hours, the person need not isolate but should wear a mask on days 6 through 10.
If tests for COVID are clear on Day 6 and Day 8, the person can stop wearing the mask, she said.
The risk of vaccine side effects such as redness, swelling, tenderness, fever, and body aches is higher if flu and COVID vaccines are given the same day, so the department is offering them separately.
Appointments for the new boosters already are being scheduled at (620) 382-2550.