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Summit County Health Department offers updated coronavirus boosters

The vaccine targets the original coronavirus and the more contagious Omicron subvariant

The Summit County Health Department will begin offering a new coronavirus booster shot on Wednesday to better protect people against the Omicron variant.
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The Summit County Health Department will begin offering a new coronavirus booster shot on Wednesday to better protect people against the Omicron variant.

Updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters, which means the vaccine targets both the original coronavirus and the more contagious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, were authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week. The Omicron variant is currently the most widespread of the coronavirus variants, according to health officials.

“The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants. This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said in a prepared statement. “If you are eligible, there is no bad time to get your COVID-19 booster and I strongly encourage you to receive it.”



The Health Department began accepting appointments on Tuesday. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna bivalent boosters will be offered at the Health Department’s Round Valley, Kamas and Coalville locations. The FDA is removing the authorization for the previous monovalent booster. The shots will no longer be available to individuals 12 or older. Any dose can be given to an individual regardless of which vaccine they originally received.

The bivalent booster is only available to people who have completed their primary vaccination series, which is two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson. Individuals who have received the Novovax coronavirus vaccine are not eligible for a booster.



A person is eligible for the vaccine two months after their last primary dose or booster. The Pfizer booster is authorized for people over 11, while the Moderna vaccine is available for individuals 18 and older. Any shot can be given to an individual regardless of which vaccine they originally received.

Parents with children not old enough to receive the updated booster are encouraged to vaccinate their child with the original shot to improve their defense against the virus while transitioning back to school.

Health officials anticipate children under 12 will be able to receive the updated booster soon, but the timeline is uncertain. Parents are advised to complete their child’s primary vaccination series so they will be eligible for the bivalent booster when it is made available.

This week, 22 confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in Summit County with zero hospitalizations. Testing positivity is around 12% compared to 14% the previous week. There were 39 confirmed cases last week and two hospitalizations. 

Summit County has a low COVID-19 community level, according to the new Health Department COVID-19 dashboard. The level can differ from the CDC’s ranking at times as the data only represents local hospitals. The federal reporting includes hospitals in the surrounding counties with areas that transcend into Summit County. 

“There is now data to confidently show COVID-19 vaccines are very safe and effective. Although new variants may be more immune evasive than previous, vaccines are still shown to protect against serious disease. There is a plan to have an Omicron-specific vaccine by this Fall,” the Health Department’s website states. “Eventually, vaccines will be formulated for new variants each year, similar to the annual flu vaccine.”

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