May 9, 2023
Kirksville, MO 5/9/23 – Following release of updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Adair County Health Department is urging adults ages 65 and older and younger adults and children who are moderately to severely immunocompromised to get a second bivalent vaccine.
Studies of the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine provide evidence that the formula, which is designed to protect against both the original strain of the virus as well as the omicron variant, is effective in protecting people against severe disease and death. The elderly and immunocompromised are at greatest risk for both, which is why the CDC updated its guidance.
The research also indicates that the strength of the protection provided by the bivalent vaccine wanes over time, which is why the CDC is recommending a second booster for these populations. The second dose is recommended for adults ages 65 and older who received their first bivalent COVID-19 booster at least four months ago, and for those under age 65 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised who received their first bivalent booster at least two months ago.
Less than 15% of Missourians have received a bivalent booster. In Adair County, only 12.8% have received one, and only 39.5% of adults ages 65 and older have received one, leaving them susceptible to severe disease and death.
“Although 91% of Adair County residents got a first dose of the monovalent COVID-19 vaccine and 83% completed the initial two-dose series, too few people have gotten the much more effective bivalent booster,” said Jim LeBaron, administrator of the Adair County Health Department. “The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States is still more than 14,000. The seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations is more than 1,400 and deaths are at 190. COVID-19 might no longer be a pandemic, but it is still infecting and killing people. We urge our county’s most vulnerable citizens to ramp up their protection.”
To find out how to get a free bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, call the Adair County Health Department at 660-665-8491.