FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Wes Stubblefield, M.D., (256) 340-2113
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) encourages you to get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations as a new subvariant of concern emerges. COVID-19 vaccine and the new bivalent boosters are important for your maximum protection as the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 overtakes other Omicron subvariants which were dominant in the fall. The new strain accounts for about 40 percent of cases in the U.S. and is now the main subvariant in the Northeastern states where it accounts for an estimated 75 percent of cases.
Only about one-third of Americans ages 65 and older are up to date with COVID-19 vaccine and boosters. The best protection for children and adults ages 6 months and older is to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.
At this point, XBB.1.5 is not known to be more severe than other variants, and vaccination can help prevent serious illness and hospitalization. A decrease in transmission of the virus means fewer opportunities for it to mutate, which can help prevent other contagious variants from emerging.
Information about recommended COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for individuals is available at the following website: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
To find COVID-19 vaccination locations near you, search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.
In addition to vaccines, the following measures can help protect you from getting infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:
If you test positive for COVID-19, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of hospitalization and death. Do not delay, because treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective. Medications for COVID-19 are available through your healthcare provider, health clinic and pharmacies.
For more information, go to alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19
County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.
Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health
Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.