By Dr. Eugene Livar, Assistant Director for Public Health Preparedness at the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study has found that the Omicron booster provided significant additional protection against symptomatic COVID-19 illness in people who had received at least two doses of a previous COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC notes that COVID-19 spread has increased during the last two winters. And Arizona cases have increased each week for the last four weeks, making it all the more important to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccination.
In the spirit of the holiday season, please give yourself and those around you the additional protection that the Omicron booster provides. This booster is recommended for everyone ages 5 and older at least two months after their last COVID-19 vaccine dose. You can find providers across Arizona at azhealth.gov/FindVaccine.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also note that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and seasonal influenza are circulating as holiday gatherings get underway. In addition to getting your flu shot, following these simple steps can reduce the spread of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick in your home.
- Stay at home if you are sick.