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What to Know About COVID-19 Boosters in Oxford

Reporters Julieanna Jackson and Olivia Wright get reaction to the new COVID-19 booster recommendations.

Pharmacies across the country are now accepting appointments for the new COVID-19 booster vaccine, and though cases are not being tracked at the University of Mississippi or in Oxford, many people know someone on campus or in the community who has been sick.

“The virus has evolved, and it looks different. This booster is meant to match what is circulating in the community more closely,” said Dr. Marie Barnard, associate professor of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Mississippi.  

The updated booster the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older is effective against many variants, including EG.5, currently the country’s most prevalent strain.

Parents of young children have had mixed opinions about vaccinations for years. This new recommendation from the CDC will add to the ongoing conversation.

“I was kind of leery of the COVID vaccination for my children. Only because I did not want them to get it from a drugstore, but if they received it from their pediatrician, I am good with it because I trust her and her opinion,” said Shantra Joynes, a local mother of three children under the age of twelve.

Just 13% of Americans aged 18-29 received a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose.

It’s estimated that about 75 percent of people in the United States skipped last year’s bivalent booster, many of them college age. Students at the University of Mississippi are talking about the recent COVID cases they have seen or experienced themselves here on campus, and at least one says he think it’s a good idea to get the new vaccine.

“I would say whether COVID or not, there will be some sickness on campus you encounter. If there is a vaccine to help this, whether COVID, flu, or anything else similar to these illnesses then take it,” said Clark Smith, a senior at the university.

You can check on the availability of appointments for getting the new vaccine at local Walgreen’s and CVS stores by visiting vaccines.gov.

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