CDC expands COVID booster eligibility


The Record-Herald



Following Thursday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), CDC is expanding the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone 5 years of age and older.

CDC now recommends that children ages 5 through 11 years should receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series. Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and, tragically, over 180 have died. As cases increase across the country, a booster dose will safely help restore and enhance protection against severe disease.

In addition, CDC is strengthening its recommendation that those 12 and older who are immunocompromised and those 50 and older should receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first. Over the past month, the CDC has seen steady increases in cases, with a steep and substantial increase in hospitalizations for older Americans. While older Americans have the highest coverage of any age group of first booster doses, most older Americans received their last dose (either their primary series or their first booster dose) many months ago, leaving many who are vulnerable without the protection they may need to prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Whether it is your first booster or your second, if you haven’t had a vaccine dose since the beginning of December 2021 and you are eligible, now is the time to get one.

COVID cases on the rise

As COVID cases continue to increase in the county, Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) recommends that you stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms. There have been 52 cases reported to FCPH in the past two weeks, with 30 of those reported in the past seven days. At-home tests are now widely available and do not get reported to the local health department, so the number of new COVID cases in the community will be higher than the number reported by FCPH.

People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. Anyone may choose to mask at any time. These recommendations are based on CDC guidance.

Isolation Guidelines

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have mild symptoms and are waiting for test results:

Isolate. Stay at home for at least five days.*

– To keep others safe in your home, wear a mask, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if you can.

– Do not travel for 10 days.

– If you can’t wear a mask, stay home and away from other people for 10 days.

– To calculate the recommended time frames, day 0 is the day you were tested if you don’t have symptoms or the date your symptoms started.

– Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your test results and available treatment options. Watch for symptoms, especially fever. If you have an emergency warning sign, such as trouble breathing or persistent chest pain or pressure, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Day 6: Do a self-check. How are you feeling?

You could have a loss of taste or smell for weeks or months after you feel better. These symptoms should not delay the end of isolation.

– No symptoms or symptoms improving.

– No fever without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours: You can leave isolation. Keep wearing a mask around other people at home and in public for 5 more days (days 6-10).

– Symptoms not improving and/or still have a fever: Continue to stay home until 24 hours after your fever stops without using fever-reducing medication and your symptoms have improved.

– After you feel completely better, keep wearing a mask around other people at home and in public through day 10.

*If you are moderately or severely ill (including being hospitalized or requiring intensive care or ventilation support) or immunocompromised, please talk to your healthcare provider about when you can end isolation.

Recommendations for Close Contacts (Quarantine)

You were a close contact if you were less than 6 feet away from someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (excluding K-12 settings).

Here’s what to do to protect others:

– Quarantine if you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines or didn’t have COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days. If you are up to date or had COVID-19 in the past 90 days you do not have to quarantine.

– Avoid travel through day 10.

– Wear a mask around other people for 10 days.

– Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days.

– Up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.

– Get Tested

– Get a COVID-19 test on or after day five or if you have symptoms. People who had COVID-19 in the past 90 days should only get tested if they develop symptoms.

*You tested negative. You can leave your home.

Keep wearing a mask in public and when traveling through day 10.

*You tested positive or have symptoms.

Isolate away from other people. Stay home for at least 5 days and follow steps for isolation.

Do not travel for 10 days.

If you are unable to get tested, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms. Keep wearing a mask in public and avoid travel through day 10.

To calculate the recommended time frames, day 0 is the date you last had close contact to someone with COVID-19.

If you can’t wear a mask, stay home (quarantine) and away from other people, and do not travel for 10 days.

Free at-home COVID tests are available

Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID tests. These can be ordered at covid.gov/tests.

Vaccination Schedule

COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters provide protection against severe disease, hospitalizations and death.

All clinics are at the health department office. Call 740-335-5910 to schedule. Appointments and masks are required for all clinics. Please bring:

– COVID vaccination record if you have already received at least one dose

– Health insurance card

There is no cost for a COVID vaccine. Patient insurance is billed for a fee to administer the vaccine, but patients will not be billed. Questions can be directed to the health department at 740-335-5910.

– May 23 – Moderna

– May 24 – All three COVID vaccines

– May 25 – Johnson & Johnson

– May 27 – Pfizer

To view more dates, visit faycohd.org/events

COVID-19 vaccinations

– 13,507 started (47%)

– 12,615 completed (44%)

– 6,099 first booster

– 590 second booster

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths

– 7,876 cases (+30)

– 493 hospitalizations (no change)

– 122 deaths (+1)

– 7,676 presumed recovered (+16)

Cases Per 100,000: (14-day period ending April 27)

Fayette County: 182.3 per 100,000 (up from 147.2)

Ohio: 269.0 per 100,000 (up from 205.7)

For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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The Record-Herald