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COVID-19 Update for Friday, October 8th

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By Cara Beth Lewis 

There have been 5,358 positive COVID-19 cases in Bladen County as of today, according to Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan with Bladen County Health Department. Today, there are only 93 active cases in the county. We have finally made it back to the double digits, after being in the triple digits for too long.

At the beginning of the week, on Monday, October 4th, there were 117 active cases in Bladen County. One week prior to that, on Monday, September 27th, there were 160 active cases. These numbers show a steady decrease in cases, thankfully.

To keep the decrease going, Bladen County Health Department encourages vaccination, social distancing, and mask-wearing when necessary.

Below are frequently asked questions and answers from the CDC.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if I am NOT in one of the recommended groups?

Answer: Additional populations may be recommended to receive a booster shot as more data become available. The COVID-19 vaccines approved and authorized in the United States continue to be effective at reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Experts are looking at all available data to understand how well the vaccines are working for different populations. This includes looking at how new variants, like Delta, affect vaccine effectiveness.

What should people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) vaccine do?

Answer: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC’s recommendations are bound by what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization allows. At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster authorization only applies to people whose primary series was the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. People in the recommended groups who got the Moderna or J&J/Janssen vaccine may need a booster shot. More data on the effectiveness and safety of Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots are expected soon. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for Moderna and J&J/Janssen booster shots.

If we need a booster shot, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?

Answer: No. COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection, especially among certain populations, against mild and moderate disease.

What are the risks to getting a booster shot?

So far, reactions reported after getting the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot were similar to that of the 2-shot primary series. Fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the 2-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

Am I still considered “fully vaccinated” if I don’t get a booster shot?

Answer: Yes. Everyone is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

What is the difference between a booster shot and an additional dose?

A booster shot is administered when a person has completed their vaccine series and protection against the virus has decreased over time. Additional doses are administered to people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems. This additional dose of an mRNA-COVID-19 vaccine is intended to improve immunocompromised people’s response to their initial vaccine series.

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