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Kentucky Health Commissioner says a new COVID booster could be here by September

Kentucky Department of Public Health

A major tool in fighting coronavirus continues to be vaccination. A new COVID booster is expected to be available soon.

Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said upwards of 80 to 90% of Kentuckians are either vaccinated or have had COVID. He noted a new version of the vaccine is anticipated in September which will protect against the BA 4 and BA 5 versions of the omicron variant.

“If that were to happen then I would certainly encourage everyone who hasn’t had a recent booster in the last few months to go out and get a new booster for the fall and while you’re at it, get a flu shot. This is a time when you don’t want to have either of these infections,” said Stack

Stack said this booster would hopefully broaden the immune system response. While coronavirus is still very prevalent in many Kentucky counties, Dr. Stack noted hospitalizations did fall during the last reporting period. He added that’s attributed to vaccinations, the number of people who have had the virus, and the somewhat milder impact of current variants. Still, Stack said, moving from a summer season into the fall period can increase the risks of COVID transmission.

“When you go indoors and in less well or even poorly ventilated places, you know air gets stagnant, so concentrations of…really think about it… odors or other chemicals or viruses floating in the air can increase, so you risk a higher level of exposure,” said Stack.

Stack says long-term COVID is being seen and that just increases the importance of vaccinations.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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