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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Carroll County Health Department recommends seeking out new COVID-19 bivalent booster for extra protection this fall

Despite some reports to the contrary, Dr. Robert Wack, deputy health officer with the Carroll County Health Department, says the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t yet over and county residents should keep vigilant against the virus.

“Given the number of daily COVID deaths in the U.S., and the emerging magnitude of long COVID problems, we cannot lower our guard on COVID,” he said. “We need to stay sharp ... and protect the most vulnerable.”

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The county health department is now offering the bivalent booster, which provides stronger protection against multiple COVID-19 strains currently circulating.

The booster is available at the health department’s regular clinics held Wednesday afternoons at the Westminster Senior Center, 125 Stoner Ave., and on Friday mornings at the Carroll County Health Department, 290 S. Center St., Westminster. Appointments are required for both clinics.

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The department will be working with the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities this fall to help promote the new booster.

“As we enter the fall and winter with cooler weather and more indoor activities, we may see another increase in COVID cases,” Wack said. “This new bivalent booster will continue to strengthening immunity against newer variants and decrease the risk of serious illness from COVID.

“We recommend that everyone who is eligible (to) get this booster, as well as the flu shot, to protect themselves and others around them this fall and winter,” Wack said.

“We have to think about other people,” he said. “We are swimming in a sea of viruses. We will get to a point that our immune system is adequately equipped to handle the COVID virus.”

The new booster is available for anyone ages 12 and older who has already received their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. The Pfizer booster is available to anyone 12 to 17 years of age, while anyone 18 or older can get either the Moderna or Pfizer bivalent booster.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an online tool to determine eligibility for the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html#booster-quizbot-root.

For more information, go to https://cchd.maryland.gov/registration-links or call 410-876-4848 for assistance. You can also search the state site for pharmacies and other locations that offer the vaccines: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine.

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