NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT – Updated COVID-19 booster vaccines that protect against current variants are available at health departments in the North Georgia Health District, which includes Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield counties.
As stated in a Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) press announcement released September 7th, “The bivalent vaccine contains the genetic recipes for two versions of COVID-19; the original strain, plus the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, offering better protection against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants.” (Please see our website for the full DPH press release: nghd.org/news/dph-new-covid-19-boosters.)
Two updated boosters are available: a Moderna booster for ages 18 and older, and a Pfizer booster for ages 12 and older. These will replace current boosters for these age groups. Residents may get an updated booster two months after completing the primary series, or two months after receiving a previous booster dose. Current booster vaccines will remain available for children ages 5-11 years.
As with all COVID-19 vaccine doses, the updated booster doses are no cost to all eligible individuals; however, health insurance will be billed, if available, to cover administration fees. No appointment is required for COVID-19 vaccines during regular clinic hours. Go to www.nghd.org for each county health department’s location and hours of operation.
Just as with a flu shot, it is important to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccine protection. Maintaining both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations is the best way for individuals and families to be protected this winter as the holiday season approaches. This will also help protect the local community’s hospital capacity ahead of a possible winter surge.