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New COVID-19 boosters have arrived in Central Texas

These boosters target not only the original strain of COVID-19, but the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) is now offering updated COVID-19 boosters for those 12 and older.

WCCHD have begun receiving bivalent boosters, also referred to as the updated COVID-19 boosters, and are able to begin administering them to those who are eligible. These boosters target not only the original strain of COVID-19 but the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants as well.

These updated boosters are recommended as a single dose for people aged 12 and older who have already received their initial dose of the primary vaccine and have not received a COVID-19 dose in the last two months. 

Children ages 5-11 are still eligible for the original COVID-19 booster but are still not eligible for the recent booster. The original booster protects against the original strain of COVID-19.

Anyone 6 months and older is recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the release stated. 

“Getting vaccinated and staying up to date on COVID-19 boosters remains the best way to protect against severe illness from COVID-19,” said Dr. Amanda Norwood, medical director and county health authority. “COVID-19 vaccines continue to show that they are effective at reducing severe symptoms that can result in hospitalization and death, and the updated boosters can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination or infection and provide broader protection against newer variants.”

Additionally, people can safely be administered with more than one vaccine at the same time. For example, the most common combination is the COVID-19 vaccine and the annual flu vaccine being administered in the same session.

Both primary and new booster COVID-19 vaccinations are available at the walk-in clinic at the WCCHD Public Health Center, located at 100 W. Third St. in Georgetown. Appointments for Sept. 13 are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be made at any of the four clinics by calling 512-943-3600.

Meanwhile, Austin Public Health announced Tuesday that it too will be offering the updated boosters. It will be offered through its Shots for Tots/Big Shots clinics and the Mobile Vaccination Program. Many retail pharmacies and providers around Travis County are also offering the boosters.

"We have been anticipating this vaccine and I recommend everyone who's eligible make plans to get the updated booster," said Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes. "People in our community are still getting very sick from these highly transmissible COVID-19 omicron subvariants."

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