Coastal Health District prepares for new Covid-19 booster

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Federal officials announced a new Covid-19 booster would soon be available.

The new boosters are expected to be available in early to mid September. The shots are meant to give protection from the BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus subvariants.

The Biden Administration is expected to issue “operational guidelines” in the coming days to prepare for the rollout. That’s according to a source close to the planning discussions.

While those new booster doses haven’t been approved in the United States just yet, Dr. Lawton Davis of the Coastal Health District says they’re already taking steps to preorder those doses for when they do get approved.

He says he expects that the new booster will target specific subvariants of the virus with Pfizer’s vaccine expected to be available to people 12 and up, and Moderna for 18 and up.

Dr. Davis says the Coastal Health District should be included in the initial roll out of the new booster shots which could come as soon as September, but there’s not an exact timeline available just yet.

However, Dr. Davis says if you need a booster dose now and are eligible for one, you shouldn’t wait.

“If you’re relatively high risk, or you’re taking a trip that would place you at a higher rate of exposure, and you’re due for a booster, I’d probably go ahead and take the booster that’s available, they work well at protecting against severe illness and hospitalization, they still work well.”

The new booster doses would also use mRNA technology, like the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Dr. Davis adds that COVID transmission remains high in all of the counties in the Coastal Health District, so it’s always a good idea to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.