Central Coast could receive new FDA and CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccines this week
The CDC approved new Covid-19 vaccines today; the agency said the shots could be available as early as this week across the country, including the Central Coast.
The FDA and CDC have now both given the green light to updated Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines.
They’re designed to tackle the highly contagious omicron XBB.1.5 variant. This strain is causing concern because it’s able to dodge our immune defenses with multiple mutations.
The new vaccine approvals come amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country.
Dr. Penny Borenstein, SLO County Public Health Officer, said there’s been a recent surge in Covid cases locally too.
“We are at a higher level than we were for months in the spring and early summer, and we may be beginning to see a plateau now,” Borenstein said.
Borenstein encourages everyone to get the new vaccines to keep Covid from increasing– and to make it a yearly habit.
“What we see with this vaccine, similar to flu, is you need to get one at least every year so that you boost your immune response,” Borenstein said.
The new vaccines are approved for people over the age of 12; they’re also authorized under emergency use for children 6 months through 11 years old, according to an FDA release.
“We’re looking forward to the new vaccine coming out, so it'll be even more protective,” Borenstein said.
Symptoms for the newest Covid-19 variant are similar to previous strains. After exposure, it may take up to 5 days before you start feeling sick, and you remain contagious for at least 2 to 3 days after symptoms appear.
Borenstein also urges residents to continue protecting themselves from Covid-19 in ways besides vaccines.
“I want to warn that even though people are tired of Covid, it isn't done with us,” Borenstein said. “It is still one of the leading causes of death in our community and our nation.”
For the latest information on Covid-19 vaccines and cases in the County, you can visit slocounty.ca.gov.