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'Bivalent' COVID-19 boosters roll out in Henrico, Richmond: 'We are still seeing COVID-19 in our community'

'We are still seeing COVID-19 in our community in our state... and there are still deaths associated with COVID-19'
Posted at 2:14 PM, Sep 14, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are encouraging Central Virginians to get a new COVID-19 booster shot.

Starting Wednesday, the health district is starting to appointments to get the new "bivalent booster."

This booster shot targets two different strains of the COVID-19 virus: the original strain, and the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the Omicron strain.

Dr. Elaine Perry with RHHD said the latter is now dominating in case counts.

 “What we continue to see circulating in the community is the omicron variant, and so obviously to improve protection against that variant is so important for people to achieve at this point," Perry said. 

Dr. Elaine Perry with  Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and reporter Elizabeth Holmes
Dr. Elaine Perry with Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and reporter Elizabeth Holmes

Anyone 12 years and older can get the "bivalent" booster at least 2 months after their last COVID-19 shot. 

Perry said side effects of this booster will vary. 

“Anecdotally hearing that after people have had multiple boosters, the side effects do get a little bit less, with sequential doses, but that is something that we’re going to learn more about as people get this bivalent booster dose," Perry said. 

Those who are at greater risk of severe disease from the virus are encouraged to sign up for their updated booster shot earlier rather than later. 

Perry said so far, interest in the shot has been high, but COVID-19 "fatigue" may prevent people from signing up to get their shot. 

“We are still seeing COVID-19 in our community in our state and in our country and there are people who are suffering very serious consequences and there are still deaths associated with COVID-19," she said. 

'Bivalent' COVID-19 boosters

As the fall months approach, Perry said COVID-19 is not the only virus we need to protect ourselves from. 

"We're all at a greater risk for a variety of different respiratory diseases," she said. "As people say, you have two arms, right, one for your COVID-19 booster, and one for your influenza vaccines." 

More information on RHHD's rollout of the bivalent booster shot can be found here

MassVaccinationClinicRichmondRaceway.jpg
Mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Richmond Raceway.

Virginians age 6 months+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Go to Vaccine Finderto search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).

Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.