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.