EL PASO COUNTY — A second COVID 19 booster vaccination is now encouraged. At the same time, less than 50% of those who are eligible have received their first COVID19 booster shot.
COVID numbers tracking infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus, are down significantly since peak spikes during the pandemic. The result is fewer conversations and less attention to the virus status. “Just because we put it on the back burner doesn't mean it doesn't exist,” said El Paso County Public Health, Medical Director, Dr. Chris Urbina.
COVID tracking in El Paso County shows 59 people hospitalized over the last two weeks. Six people died related to the illness.
Dr. Urbina points out there are now multiple variations of the virus that have evolved from the original. "Increases in BA-4, BA-5, I don't want to bore you with all the numbers, B-2121, which are all variants of Omicron.” The nature viruses is to mutate and evolve.
Health experts also know immunity can weaken. "Immunity wanes whether you had a previous infection or a vaccine, so getting that boost is useful.”
A booster will not stop all infections. It does lower severity. Urbina said, ”Getting that boost, producing extra antibodies and b-cells and t-cells and response to infection actually give you that extra protection of preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death, and that's really what we're after."
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