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COVID in Ohio: Health officials give update on vaccines, urge high-risk population to get booster shots

The update came as new COVID booster shots have been approved that target today's most common omicron strains.
Credit: Seventyfour - stock.adobe.com
Man gets his COVID-19 vaccine.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health held a press conference Thursday morning to give an update regarding COVID-19 vaccines. It comes as new COVID booster shots have been approved that target today's most common omicron strains.

RELATED: CDC endorses updated COVID boosters, shots to begin soon

ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff hosted the press conference, which we streamed. You can watch the full press conference below.

Dr. Vanderhoff was joined by the following for the press conference:

  • Anna Goroncy, MD, MEd, assistant professor of family and community medicine, University of Cincinnati and geriatric medicine fellowship director, The Christ Hospital/University of Cincinnati
  • LaToya Smith, MD, geriatric medicine fellow, The Christ Hospital/University of Cincinnati

During the press conference, Dr. Vanderhoff emphasized the chance for the flu to make a big comeback this upcoming fall/winter. That's why he encouraged everyone -- especially those at high risk -- to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots.

"While COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are generally lower in Ohio than earlier in the year, our older residents remain at the greatest risk of developing a serious illness," said Dr. Vanderhoff.

Recently, the brand new fall COVID-19 booster was approved, targeting specific virus variants. The new booster can be given two months after the primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine or two months after your last booster. 

Individuals getting the new booster shot must be 12 years or older.

In September of last year, 50% of the COVID-19 deaths in Ohio came from those 70 years and older. 

According to Dr. Goroncy, the following populations are considered most high-risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 and should get the new booster: 

  • Anyone with a weakened immune system 
  • Anyone with lung diseases or asthma
  • People who have a higher weight
  • Minority populations

In Northeast Ohio, many healthcare providers are offering the new COVID-19 booster shots, including Cleveland Clinic. 


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous health story on Sept. 6, 2022.

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