December 1, 2022

Experts at Dartmouth Health are recommending that everyone eligible for the new bivalent COVID-19 booster get the shot.Health experts said the vaccine has increased protection against the omicron BA.5 variant, which has become the predominant strain in the United States. Anyone 12 or older who has received the primary series of vaccinations and any other boosters at least two months ago is eligible for the new booster.Dartmouth Health officials said there could be 90,000 fewer deaths and more than 935,000 fewer hospitalizations by the end of March of next year if 80% of those eligible get the shot. “If you are up to date to date of the COVID-19 vaccine series, including the recent booster dose, we know that you end up having milder illness and quicker improvement,” said Dr. Michael Calderwood, chief quality officer at Dartmouth Health.Currently, 68% of the U.S. population has completed a primary vaccine series for the virus. In New Hampshire, the proportion is lower, at 66%.The percentage of the U.S. population who has received a booster shot is even lower, with about half of those eligible getting one.”These boosters are really important in terms of keeping our immune system strong and decreasing the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, and in particular now, as the evidence is mounting, decreasing the risk of long COVID,” said Sally Kraft, vice president of population health at Dartmouth Health.Experts say that about one-third of New Hampshire has been boosted. If you’ve recently had COVID-19, the CDC recommends waiting three months before getting the bivalent booster. Experts at Dartmouth Health said a combination vaccine of both the bivalent shot and flu shot is in the works and should be available next year.

Experts at Dartmouth Health are recommending that everyone eligible for the new bivalent COVID-19 booster get the shot.

Health experts said the vaccine has increased protection against the omicron BA.5 variant, which has become the predominant strain in the United States. Anyone 12 or older who has received the primary series of vaccinations and any other boosters at least two months ago is eligible for the new booster.

Dartmouth Health officials said there could be 90,000 fewer deaths and more than 935,000 fewer hospitalizations by the end of March of next year if 80% of those eligible get the shot.

“If you are up to date to date of the COVID-19 vaccine series, including the recent booster dose, we know that you end up having milder illness and quicker improvement,” said Dr. Michael Calderwood, chief quality officer at Dartmouth Health.

Currently, 68% of the U.S. population has completed a primary vaccine series for the virus. In New Hampshire, the proportion is lower, at 66%.

The percentage of the U.S. population who has received a booster shot is even lower, with about half of those eligible getting one.

“These boosters are really important in terms of keeping our immune system strong and decreasing the risk of severe disease and hospitalization, and in particular now, as the evidence is mounting, decreasing the risk of long COVID,” said Sally Kraft, vice president of population health at Dartmouth Health.

Experts say that about one-third of New Hampshire has been boosted.

If you’ve recently had COVID-19, the CDC recommends waiting three months before getting the bivalent booster.

Experts at Dartmouth Health said a combination vaccine of both the bivalent shot and flu shot is in the works and should be available next year.

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