SEATTLE - Health officials in Washington’s most populous county are urging people to get the new COVID-19 booster.
Public Health – Seattle & King County’s health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said in a briefing Tuesday that even people who have had a booster shot should get all recommended doses for maximum protection, The Seattle Times reported.
Community transmission is relatively low in King County, with about 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week. The new booster is a bivalent vaccine, meaning it’s the original COVID-19 vaccine formula plus the BA. 4 and BA. 5 spike protein components. Together they give additional protection by targeting the omicron subvariants that are more transmissible.
An initial allocation of 191,100 booster doses is headed to providers throughout the state this week.
Officials recommend people 12 and older who have already received their initial vaccine series sign up for a booster appointment with their health provider or local pharmacy.
Officials are also urging people to consider getting a flu shot.
"After the relatively quiet seasons that we’ve had the last few years with little influenza circulating, it’s quite possible that the reintroduction of influenza will be more severe because lots of people haven’t seen flu for a couple of years and therefore their immune systems just aren’t primed and ready for it," Duchin said.
He suggests one shot for the flu in one arm and a COVID booster shot in the other, if possible.
NEW OMICRON COVID BOOSTERS
According to the KCPH, shipments of the newly authorized COVID boosters are supposed to begin this week, and could be available to the public as soon as this weekend.
The new boosters protect people 12 and older from the original virus and the omicron subvariants. Health officials say the earliest they can start vaccinating, assuming there are no shipping delays, is Friday at the Auburn outlet vaccination site.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOSTER: New Omicron COVID boosters: How to get the shot, who is eligible, where can you get vaccinated?
COVID-19 Data Dashboard provided by the Washington State Department of Health (Data as of Sept. 1, 2022 11:59p.m. PT).
To view the Washington State Department of Health's COVID-19 data dashboard, click here.
MONKEYPOX OUTBREAK IN KING COUNTY
2022 U.S. Map & Monkeypox Case Count provided by the CDC (Data as of Sept. 2, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. EDT).
Officials also gave an update on the monkeypox outbreak in King County during their Tuesday afternoon press briefing.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, there have been 461 cases of monkeypox in Washington state. 375 of those were reported in King County. So far, 14 of these cases required medical treatment in the hospital.
To learn more about the monkeypox virus in Washington state, click here.