Sedgwick County Health Department preparing to receive updated COVID-19 boosters

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – A day afterr the Center for Disease Control recommended the first updated COVID-19 boosters, many have questions on who should be getting the new boosters and when.

The new boosters are bivalent shots that contain half the original vaccine that came out in December 2020. And half provides protection against the dominant omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5. Those variants make up nearly all new COVID cases in Kansas.

The Sedgwick County Health Department expects new booster shows to arrive in about two weeks.

“As soon as someone is eligible to receive the new booster to protect against the current variants, it would be a good idea to go ahead and that,” Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said. “So, there just needs to be a two-month span since the last vaccine, and they need to have gotten the primary doses.”

The CDC said you’re up to date with COVID-19 vaccines if you’ve received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you.

For adults between the ages of 18 and 49, you’re up to date if you’ve had three total shots. For those 50 and older, you’re up to date if you’ve had a fourth dose. This varies for those 17 and younger, depending on whether you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“You can be vaccinated and still get COVID, but the more you’re protected and up to date, the lower your chances of getting it, and if you do get it, you’re not going to get as sick” Byrne said.

In Sedgwick County, anyone who’s completed at least a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, you’ll be eligible for the new boosters.

“That’s been modified to give cells the instructions to make the spike protein common to the BA.4 and BA.5 variant. So, basically, this is reformulated, so it has what we need for protection currently,” Byrne said.

The Sedgwick County Health Department will continue to provide boosters for children aged 5 to 11 at their mobile clinics and the West Central location.

The health department expects the new boosters to arrive in Sedgwick County during the week of Sept. 12.

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