Johnson Countians now able to receive ‘bivalent’ COVID-19 boosters


As of Monday, eligible Johnson Countians can receive the new COVID-19 booster that's intended to protect specifically against the latest Omicron variants of the virus. File image courtesy of Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

Starting Monday, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will offer new bivalent COVID-19 booster shots.

Why it matters: Health officials say the new boosters specifically provide protection against the most latest COVID-19 variants.

  • The bivalent COVID-19 boosters still include components that protect against the original virus strain, but they also contain components that provide protection against the latest Omicron variants.
  • Nationwide vaccination rates have slowed overall since the first COVID-19 booster became available in 2021.
  • However, early numbers show an enthusiastic response to the new booster’s availability — with roughly 397,000 shots already administered in California and roughly 137,900 already administered in Illinois.

Local context: The Omicron BA.5 subvariant became the most common strain in positive cases in Johnson County this summer and is known to be more transmissible but generally less severe in symptoms.