Local pharmacies receive new COVID-19 booster vaccine

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - New doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed to the community, and in some places, appointments are already available.

The vaccines have been shipped to pharmacies and health departments across the two-state.

We spoke to Walgreens and a local pharmacy in Richmond County, who say they have gotten their shipments of the new vaccine in.

DHEC says all South Carolina counties have theirs as well. For Barney’s Pharmacy in Augusta, demand for the new booster is already high.

“We have had a lot of interest. A lot of people have been reaching out to us,” said Pharmacist, Vaccine Coordinator Amanda Reddick.

The updated vaccine is bivalent, which means it protects against both the original strain of COVID and the omicron variant, specifically BA4 and BA5 strains.

“The new booster is for anyone who has never had a booster, or anyone who was boosted with the old formulation before the omicron variant was added in. Just has to be at least two months after your last booster dose,” she said.

South Carolina public health leaders say cases have climbed over the summer.

DHEC Director of Public Health Dr. Brannon Traxler said: “We have seen more easily spreading omicron variant this summer. We have seen people who don’t have severe disease, but just don’t feel well.”

She says it’s likely COVID will become like the flu and cause seasonal outbreaks, which is why it’s important for them to have updated vaccines.

“This is a very safe and effective vaccine, and it really is a step in the right direction for keeping up with the virus,” said Traxler.

While COVID may not cause as many hospitalizations, it can interrupt daily life.

Reddick said: “You want to make sure you stay well so that you can meet your responsibilities, be there for your family and feel your best, so that’s why I would encourage people to take the booster.”

It will be available beginning Monday at Barney’s by appointment only. DHEC says they expect it to be available at all health departments on Monday.

To find a COVID vaccination, visit vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov