PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — COVID-19 bivalent boosters are now available for everyone age five and up, the Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday.
Dead Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, spoke about the state of COVID in Oregon.
Currently, OHA said we are seeing a decrease in cases, down from an average of 580 new daily cases as of Sept. 7, to 482 daily cases on Oct. 12.
This falls in line with a national decrease in cases that is also currently being observed.
The new bivalent COVID boosters are being offered to everyone ages five and up, which Sidelinger said is “the next step in expanding protection to all ages.”
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which met Wednesday, agreed to the eligibility expansion saying, “the benefits of bivalent booster doses that more closely match currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants will sustain protection against COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths in young children and substantially outweigh any potential risks.”
This expansion means that about 343,000 more people in Oregon are now able to get the newest COVID boosters.
The OHA reminds people that it’s ok to mix different vaccines and that the boosters are free and no insurance is needed.
They also recommended getting the flu vaccine at the same time as OHA is expecting seasonal influenza to put a strain on hospitals this year.
When it comes to monkeypox in Oregon, OHA remains optimistic.
Cases have been decreasing slowly, with 230 cases suspected or confirmed within the state as of Oct. 12.
“We still have a tremendous amount of work to do to ensure that individuals from communities of color receive vaccines at higher rates, as they, unfortunately, are more impacted in this outbreak,” Sidelinger said.
Those cases are within nine different counties.
Visit the OHA website for more about current COVID or monkeypox statistics and information.