Minnesota Native News is a weekly radio segment covering ideas and events relevant to Minnesota’s Native American communities. Made possible by the Minnesota Art's and Cultural Heritage fund
Welcome to Minnesota Native News..This Week on the Health Report. An updated COVID booster has been approved by the FDA and CDC. Reporter Cole Premo has more…
The CDC and FDA has approved an updated COVID booster vaccine for people 12 years and older. The new boosters include spike proteins that more closely match the ones found in the Omicron BA 4 and BA 5 variants. The CDC says the new booster will help restore protection that has waned since the original COVID shot or previous booster. According to the Yale Medicine, the BA 4 and BA 5 variants account for more than 88 percent of COVID cases in the US right now.
The updated booster is also known as a “Bi valent” booster, meaning that it draws immunity from the new variants in addition to the original COVID strain. The updated boosters are both MRNA vaccines and do not contain a “live” virus.
In a press statement, Minnesota Department of Health commissioner Jan Malcolm said updated boosters are important to protect against the variants currently spreading and that it’s important to encourage your whole family to get boosted as school starts and we head toward the year in end holidays. She also said quote “Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines is a crucial part of protecting our state in the months ahead,”
Two updated boosters are available; The Pfizer-biontech booster is available for people ages 12 and older and the Moderna for people 18 and over. Both of the updated boosters are a single dose series, and are for people who have already had their initial series of COVID vaccines or have been boosted in the past.
Vaccination sites run by the state of Minnesota, including Mall of America vaccination site, sites in Duluth, St Paul, Rochester and Moorhead has begun administering doses of the updated booster. In addition, pharmacies and community health clinics in the Twin Cities area have begun offering appointments for the updated booster. To search for a place to get your updated booster, visit vaccines dot gov
The CDC and FDA also expects to authorize the new boosters for those 12 years and younger in the near future.
The new booster comes ahead of the expected fall time surge of COVID cases, right now the CDC reports that most counties in Minnesota have low virus transmission rates. But that could change as more people head indoors for the fall and winter time.
In other news…
Free COVID testing is still available for free through the state of Minnesota. People in Minnesota can test for free at community testing sites in Moorhead, Duluth, St. Cloud and Mankato. At home tests are available for free as well and many healthcare clinics provide free testing. For links to the complete details visit Minnesota native news dot org slash health
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