GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Updated versions of the COVID-19 vaccine are now available in West Michigan.
The Kent County Health Department is expecting its first delivery any day. Amy Shears, the vaccine coordinator, says if it’s been at least two months since your last dose and you meet the age requirements for the new doses, you qualify for another vaccination.
“Pfizer’s product … is approved for ages 12 and older for a booster dose, and then there’s Moderna’s product, which is currently approved for ages 18 and older,” Shears said.
If you have recently had COVID-19 you can receive this refresher when you have recovered.
dr Richard Van Enk, director of infection prevention and epidemiology at Bronson Healthcare, says that with an ever-changing virus, it’s important to get vaccinated and stay current.
“Most people who have had their boosters have had them for quite a while,” said Van Enk. “This is basically an update to the vaccine that people received before. So the closest analogy to this is flu shots: every year we get a new flu shot.”
Data is still being collected, but Van Enk said this version looks the most promising in the lab environment and through trials compared to currently dominant variants.
The shot is available for free. The Kalamazoo County Health Department says there are funds and resources at the local level to manage it. Health Commissioner Jim Rutherford hopes the updated vaccine, which comes ahead of cold and flu season, can keep serious cases down.
“People are still getting sick. We’re not getting any indication from our health care system in Kalamazoo County that they’re having trouble (keeping up with the number of patients), so we just want to be able to keep it that way,” Rutherford said.
Doctors expect an updated version of the vaccine for younger children to be released soon, but don’t yet know when it will be available.
https://www.woodtv.com/covid-19-vaccine/when-you-should-get-your-next-covid-19-vaccine-shot/ When to get your next COVID-19 vaccination