BY CARRIE HODOUSEK
CHARLESTON — State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh mentioned West Virginians ought to have a greater thought by the top of this week of who ought to obtain the brand new COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our hope is by the top of the week we can have the flexibility for individuals to begin to schedule and obtain these new up to date photographs,” Marsh mentioned on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
A brand new Pfizer and Moderna COVID booster gained approval Monday from the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA). The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) might observe swimsuit throughout an advisory assembly with additional suggestions on who ought to get the shot.
The up to date vaccines will likely be out there for these 6 months and older.
Marsh mentioned the brand new shot is designed to extend safety towards a brand new Omicron variant that appears to be spreading rapidly.
“We’ve seen a few 16% enhance in hospitalizations and a few 10% enhance in deaths during the last week or two across the nation and that’s nonetheless a lot decrease than it was on the peak, nevertheless it tells us that it’s in all probability vital for individuals notably on the highest danger to contemplate getting this vaccine,” he mentioned.
Marsh mentioned adults and kids ought to seek the advice of with their medical doctors earlier than transferring forward with the brand new booster. He mentioned there could possibly be an annual vaccine, very like the flu, to answer completely different variants this time of 12 months.
“The aim is to have on the very least a yearly vaccine or booster shot that’s focused towards the altering variant of COVID-19,” he mentioned.
Not solely does the vaccine stop the danger of extreme sickness and demise, Marsh mentioned it additionally protects an individual from spreading COVID to others. In contrast to it was two or three years in the past, the inhabitants is extra resistant to the virus, he mentioned.
“We’re in a unique state as a result of about 97% of our inhabitants has immunity both from vaccines, an infection, restoration or a mix of the 2, so we’re in a unique place than we had been early within the pandemic,” Marsh mentioned.
Marsh mentioned it’s particularly vital for these at excessive danger like people who’re aged or immunocompromised to get vaccinated.
“The extra instances you’re contaminated, maybe the danger goes up a little bit bit. We all know that being updated with vaccination reduces that danger by about 50%,” he mentioned.
Non-public medical insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, ought to absolutely cowl the price of the boosters, which will likely be out there at pharmacies and healthcare suppliers. For individuals who are uninsured, the Biden administration has approved bridge funds left over from the pandemic via 2024 to permit without spending a dime photographs.