Consider Getting COVID-19 Booster Vaccine
on Thursday, December 16, 2021
The most recent variant of the COVID-19 virus to reach Iowa is Omicron. Though Omicron is gathering a lot of attention lately, the Delta variant is still the dominant strain of COVID-19 circulating in our communities.
Clay County Public Health officials would like to remind the public that even though someone who is fully vaccinated may experience a mild breakthrough infection, vaccination continues to demonstrate they are effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization or death. And that is our ultimate goal.
New information and data related to the omicron variant are emerging daily. So far, this is what we know:
- How easily does Omicron spread? The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
- Will Omicron cause more severe illness? More data is needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.
- Will vaccines work against Omicron? Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
- Will treatments work against Omicron? Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of Omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.
Consider getting a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Many vaccines have waning protection over time and need a boost to increase that protection again. COVID-19 vaccine is no different. Studies have found this reduced protection most commonly among our 65 and older population and other specific at-risk groups such as residents in long-term care settings and people ages 50 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions. Yet with Omicron on the horizon, ALL adults are encouraged to get a booster.
Booster doses, as well as first or second doses, are readily available locally. Clay County Public Health offers a Moderna clinic every Thursday afternoon. Patients of Avera Medical Group Spencer may receive a booster by appointment. All local pharmacies give COVID-19 vaccinations, as well.
Go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find a vaccine in your area.