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Data continue to show the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect individuals both from infection and severe outcomes of COVID-19. For adults and adolescents eligible for a first booster dose, these shots are safe and provide substantial benefit. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7-times less likely to be hospitalized. CDC continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an initial booster when eligible.

These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and to help avoid the worst outcomes (severe illness, hospitalization, and death) among those who do become infected. 

There are dozens of provider locations across Mesa County, including pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Scheduling an appointment through Mesa County Public health is available online or by calling 970-248-6900.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free. Coloradans don’t need ID or insurance to get vaccinated and are entitled to paid time off from your job to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects.