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Health officials encourage new COVID-19 vaccine booster

vaccine vaccination

Alabamians are being asked to roll up their sleeves for another COVID-19 booster shot.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved an updated version of the coronavirus booster vaccine. Those shots are meant to head off an expected surge of COVID-19 in the fall.

Dr. Paul Goepfert at UAB says getting the new vaccine is a good idea even though it has been tested in mice and not human beings.

“In mice it worked better when you gave this new strain of vaccine, and the mice were challenged with the B-A-4-5 virus,” he said.

B-A-4 and B-A-5 are two of the new COVID-19 variant strains.

Mice were given the vaccine and that protected them against the omicron variants of COVID-19.

Goepfert says the FDA knew it was time for updated shots.

“The reason they know is because there are a lot of people who were infected with the omicron virus back in the beginning of the year, who’ve been re-infected with some of these sub variants of omicron,” he said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID dashboard shows all but of the counties in the state are at high risk for community transmission of the virus.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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