According to an ARC press release, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration authorized bivalent formulations of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for use as a single booster dose in August. With the updated booster approved and available, and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being fully vaccinated now means that individuals ages 12 and up must have the updated COVID-19 booster, even if they received the original boosters.
The release cites data that show booster rates with room for improvement.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, vaccination rates for residents ages 65 and over who have received at least one initial dose range from 92% in Douglas County to 100% in Gwinnett and Cherokee counties across the 10-county region. But these numbers drop sharply when boosters are considered. The rate for residents ages 65 and over who have received at least one booster range from 62% in Douglas County to 81% in Fayette County.
ARC, which serves as the federally designated Area Agency on Aging for the 10-county metro Atlanta region, is using funds for its campaign from the CDC via the Georgia Department of Human Services. ARC’s outreach is part of a $100 million federal effort to increase vaccination rates among people ages 60 and over and adults with disabilities.
For residents with questions, ARC has prepared this Frequently Asked Questions primer on the updated COVID-19 booster.
To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.