Title: Rising COVID-19 Cases and Updated Booster Shots in North Carolina
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities worldwide, North Carolina is experiencing an alarming surge in cases. According to recent data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), COVID-19 cases have been increasing for the 11th consecutive week.
Adding to the concern, the amount of virus particles detected in the state’s wastewater reached its second-highest point in 2023. The numbers were more than double that of the same time last year, indicating a worrisome increase in viral spread across the region.
The severity of COVID-19 cases is also escalating, with over 600 patients admitted last week. This is the highest number of weekly admissions since February. However, it’s important to note that this number is still almost 500 patients lower than the peak in September 2022.
To combat the rise in cases and offer better protection against current variants of the virus, the FDA recently approved updated booster shots. Following the approval, pharmacies across the Triangle region of North Carolina wasted no time in receiving and administering the booster shots. CVS stores in the area promptly began offering the updated doses to eligible individuals.
Despite the availability of these booster shots, the percentage of North Carolinians receiving them has decreased since the initial vaccine rollout. The state stopped tracking vaccinations in April, but at that time, 63% of the population was fully vaccinated. However, only a fifth of those individuals received the recommended two additional booster shots.
Furthermore, data reveals a significant discrepancy in the percentage of boosted residents across different age groups. While 38% of individuals aged 65 and older have received the updated booster shots, only 9% of 0-4-year-olds have done so.
Health experts recommend scheduling flu and COVID-19 shots together. Fortunately, most insurance companies cover the cost of these vaccines. Additionally, federal programs are available to provide free vaccines to those who are underinsured or uninsured.
Gaurang Trivedi, the CVS Health region director, strongly encourages individuals to schedule appointments for the updated booster shots. He stresses the importance of vaccination in safeguarding against new variants of the virus.
For more information about the updated vaccines and to stay informed about the latest developments, people are encouraged to visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website. It remains crucial for North Carolinians to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated and staying vigilant in the face of COVID-19.