Flint, MI — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends everyone aged 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine heading into the fall and winter virus season.

“We have more tools than ever to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19,” said CDC Director Mandy Cohen in a Sept. 12, 2023 press release. “CDC is now recommending updated COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 6 months and older to better protect you and your loved ones.”

According to the FDA, the new vaccines include a monovalent, or single, component that corresponds to the omicron variant XBB.1.5.

Though XBB.1.5 is no longer the most dominant subvariant of the virus, research suggests the new vaccines will “retain effectiveness” against the now-dominant EG.5 subvariant.

“These vaccines were updated to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by circulating variants as we transition into fall and head into 2024,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website states.

As of Sept. 2, when its latest data was shared, the CDC reported eight new COVID-19 hospital admissions in Genesee County and the county’s overall hospital admission rate for the virus as “low.”

In its Tuesday press release, the CDC noted the two updated vaccines, which the FDA approved on Monday, are expected to be available later this week.

As of July 1, the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) began providing COVID-19 vaccines through its immunization program and at limited offsite clinics. Flint residents can call GCHD’s immunization line at 810-237-4569 to schedule a vaccine appointment. For those unable to leave home due to health conditions, GCHD also offers home-vaccination.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....

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