NORFOLK, Va. — Health officials want to ensure everyone is keeping up with their updated COVID-19 booster shots.
“The data shows that this is the most effective way to protect yourself,” said Kristin Collins, the deputy director for the Division of Immunization in the Virginia Department of Health Office of Epidemiology.
What has changed recently is interest in getting a vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 16% of adults in the United States have received the bivalent booster.
The Virginia Department of Health reports 21% percent of adults in the Commonwealth have gotten that booster shot.
“Of course, we would love to see those numbers be higher, but I also think we’re still trying to understand and keep in mind that it is still relatively new in this product being released,” she said.
Collins said it’s possible some people are experiencing vaccine fatigue. She said others could be waiting for more research on the bivalent booster.
“I think some of the population is still waiting for more of that data to come in to see that this is really going to be effective towards the strains that are predominant in Virginia right now,” Collins said.
She said as more data rolls in, interest in the updated booster could rise.
Still, the department is working to share information with the public on the booster’s effectiveness and ensure that healthcare providers have the vaccine in stock.
Collins says the department is also working to understand why fewer people got flu vaccines this year.
She says it’s possible that those who got sick with the flu before flu season started didn’t think they needed the vaccine. Collins stresses that it’s never too late to get a shot.