Booster vaccine recommended

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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In a week where there were no local deaths associated with COVID-19 came the news of another new variant of the virus.

Health officials say it’s still too early to say if the Omicron variant is a cause for concern. As of Tuesday (Nov. 30), there were no known cases of new variant in the United States.

Whether or not Omicron makes its way to the United States, health officials remain steadfast in recommending that the unvaccinated consider receiving their first doses while asking those already vaccinated to get a booster shot.

The FDA and CDC is recommending anyone 18 years or older who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine can receive a booster six months after their second dose to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster is recommended for individuals ages 18 and older who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago

“We have reached another turning point in the pandemic with the recommendation of booster doses for those 18 and older,” said R. Battle Betts Jr., Health Director for Albemarle Regional Health Services (ARHS).

“I encourage all adults to get their vaccine including their booster dose for safer holiday gatherings with family and friends,” Betts added. “We now have a vaccine for nearly everyone in the family so do not wait to get your vaccine or booster dose, it’s your best protection against serious illness and hospitalizations.

ARHS will begin accepting appointments this week for booster doses for those ages 18 and over. In addition, ARHS continues to offer appointments for Pfizer vaccinations for ages 5 years and older, as well as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for adults 18 and over. Appointments are for first, second, third and booster doses. If you have received any previous Covid-19 vaccines, please bring your vaccine card with you to your appointment. Parental consent is required for children 17 and younger.

To make an appointment, call the Gates County Health Dept. (252-357-1380), the Bertie County Health Dept. (252-794-5322), or the Hertford County Health Dept. (252-862-4054).

Northampton County residents can call 252-534-5841 to schedule an appointment for either a COVID-19 vaccine or a booster shot.

Local active cases of the virus last week are as follows:

Northampton County: 20 (a decrease of 4 cases from the previous week)

Hertford County: 11 (-1)

Bertie County: 20 (+3)

Gates County: 16 (+4)

In its weekly report, ARHS noted the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the region include 5,546 in Bertie; 4,930 in Hertford; and 3,940 in Gates. All those numbers were unchanged from the previous week.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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