Health officials urging vaccination, booster in light of Omicron variant

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While much remains unknown about how well current COVID-19 vaccines will work against the Omicron variant, health officials say history, particularly with the Delta variant, shows booster shots in particular should help provide some protection.

Speaking during a White House briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president, said the mutations on the Delta variant somewhat diminished the protection induced by the vaccines, but booster shots made a difference.

“(W)hen you get a high enough level of antibody… particularly when you boost it, you get a level so high that even if the mutations of various variants diminish that level of protection, you are still within the range of some degree of protection, and that’s usually most manifested in protection against severe disease that leads to hospitalization,” Fauci said.

“So when we say that although these mutations suggest a diminution of protection and a degree of immune evasion, you still, from experience that we have with Delta, can make a reasonable conclusion that you would not eliminate all protection against this particular variant,” he said.

Health officials are now recommending that everyone 18 and over and six months past their second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two months past their Johnson & Johnson dose get a booster shot as soon as possible.

In Yolo County residents have many options for getting boosters, including from healthcare providers and pharmacies. The county’s Health & Human Services Agency also has clinics scheduled this week targeting both boosters for adults as well as pediatric Pfizer doses for children ages 5 to 11.

Booster shots for adults will be available at two county clinics this week:
* Thursday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the HHSA Bauer Building, 137 N Cottonwood St. in Woodland. The clinic will offer Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots with appointments required for boosters.
* Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Yolo County Office of Education, 1280 Santa Anita Court, #100, in Woodland where Pfizer pediatric first and second doses will be available as well as booster shots for adults.

To schedule an appointment, or find other vaccination options, visit myturn.ca.gov or call 1-833-422-4255 or visit www.yolocounty.org/getvaccinated

Yolo County residents can also schedule a call-to-order vaccine at home or work, by calling 530-902-3230 (English); 530-379-3465 (Spanish). Yolo County staff will deliver a free vaccine to any resident 12 and older.

County stats
County officials have reported high demand for booster shots at recent vaccination clinics, but the percentage of boosted residents remains relatively low. As of Nov. 22, the county reported that 17.7 percent of county residents had received a booster shot.

Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson reported last week that just two in five Yolo County seniors over the age of 65 had received their booster shots, and that is the group at the highest risk of severe disease and hospitalization.

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients in Yolo County’s two hospitals have been unvaccinated, Sisson said, and the few that were vaccinated are primarily older adults who had not received booster shots.

As of Monday, there were eight COVID-19 patients total at Sutter Davis Hospital and Woodland Memorial Hospital, two of them vaccinated.

Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of county residents are not yet fully vaccinated so not even eligible for a booster.

As of Nov. 22, 69 percent of county residents had received at least one vaccine dose and 61.2 percent were fully vaccinated.

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