Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Health Officials are keeping watch for signs of a COVID-19 surge after cases in Florida rose from about 6,500 in mid-June to approaching 10,000 in mid-July, according to Florida health authorities.

Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom.

Chaffee County Public Health issued a press release on increased inquiries it is receiving about when the latest COVID-19 booster shot may become available. It reads, in part:

FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met on June 15, 2023, to discuss and make recommendations for SARS-CoV-2 strain(s) for updated COVID-19 vaccines for use in the United States beginning in the fall of 2023.

For the 2023-2024 formulation of the COVID-19 vaccines for use in the U.S. beginning in the Fall of 2023, the committee unanimously voted that the vaccine composition be updated to a monovalent COVID-19 vaccine with an XBB-lineage of the Omicron variant. Following discussion of the evidence, the committee expressed a preference for XBB.1.5.

At this time, CCPH has not been informed of the details if and when this new booster will become available to the public. However, the department will promote the vaccine as soon as this information is obtained.

“When these new monovalent vaccines become available, CCPH will be ready to administer them to the public,” said CCPH Director Andrea Carlstrom. “Once again, we find ourselves in a waiting phase where there is uncertainty and anxiety around risk, exposure, and protection from COVID-19.”

“CCPH appreciates everyone’s patience as we wait for the next chapter of our COVID-19 response. It is likely that there will be ample opportunities to get the new booster throughout our healthcare community,” she added.

People who are due for the current bivalent COVID-19 booster are also asking whether they should get it now or wait for the new monovalent booster.  The recommendation at this time is that:

  • Everyone 6 years and older should get one updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve received any original COVID-19 vaccines.
  • People aged 65 years and older may get one additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine four or more months after the first updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get one additional dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine two or more months after the last updated COVID-19 vaccine.

While some healthcare providers may advise getting additional doses of the current vaccine or may suggest that their patients hold off on getting an additional dose with the current vaccine formula until the new one is available, it is based on an individual’s risk-based assessment to make that decision.