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Omicron Boosters Now Being Offered in Valley
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Wednesday, September 14, 2022
 

BY BRIANNA BODILY

South Central Public Health District offices are now offering the updated COVID-19 boosters, also known as the bivalent boosters or Omicron boosters, in all their clinics, including the Bellevue clinic.

“This new booster comes just in time to protect us before the respiratory season begins,” said Logan Hudson, SCPHD Family and Children’s Health Division Administrator. “Omicron continues to be the leading COVID-19 variant hitting our region. With school back in session and winter viruses on the horizon, this new vaccine will be a big help in keeping us healthy.” 

The updated boosters have been authorized by the FDA and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new boosters are the first Omicron-specific vaccines to be made available in the United States. They target the original strain of COVID-19, as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. The highly contagious BA.5 Omicron subvariant is the dominant strain of COVID-19, making up about 90% of cases nationally. 

The updated boosters are recommended for people 12 and older who have received their primary COVID-19 vaccine series and have not received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in the last two months.

People 12 and older are eligible to receive the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster, and people 18 and older are eligible to receive the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster.

Children ages 5-11 are eligible for the original COVID-19 booster, which provides protection against the original strain of COVID-19. This age group will likely be eligible for updated boosters in the coming months.

COVID-19 vaccines remain available to all Idahoans at no cost, regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

Appointments at SCPHD for the updated Pfizer booster dose can be made by calling Immunization Services at 208-727-5966. For COVID-19 vaccine availability outside of SCPHD, contact your pediatrician or primary health care provider. SCPHD is not aware of any providers in the region currently offering the updated Moderna booster dose.

SCPHD continues to operate hotlines to help answer questions about COVID-19 at 208-737-5965 for questions in Spanish and 208-737-1138 for questions in English. The hotline is open on business days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pharmacies and other local health clinics are expected to make appointments available as their booster doses arrive.

 

 

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